Three Metro Vancouver mayoral candidates are facing investigations from the Law Society of B.C.
The reviews relate to the sitting mayor of Pitt Meadows, along with candidates in West Vancouver and Richmond.
West Vancouver mayoral hopeful Mark Sager led that city from 1990 to 1996, and is seeking the top job once again. He’s facing a citation for possible professional misconduct, following a complaint to the law society.
It is alleged he accepted gifts totalling more than $100,000 from a client. Sager says it was a gift from a longtime family friend.
“This has been an incredibly unpleasant thing to go through,” he told Global News.
“I had helped this individual with a number of legal issues because of our 55-year relationship. A bond as close as I had with only my mother and father. I didn’t ever contemplate she was a client. I never billed her anything,” he said.
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The society is also reviewing complaints against Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker, who is also a lawyer by trade.
That probe relates to allegations of misappropriation of client trust funds, failing to deliver a bill and other professional misconduct.
“In due course, there will be a hearing panel. I will be providing evidence,” said Becker.
“I am very confident that when the process unfolds, I will be exonerated in full.”
Richmond mayoral hopeful Hong Guo is facing a citation from the law society relating to millions of dollars that are alleged to have gone missing from her company’s trust account.
Guo, a real estate lawyer, was unavailable for an interview.
“It’s going to put voters in a difficult position because these cases likely won’t come to conclusion before the vote happens,” said political scientist Stewart Prest.
Even so, at least one of the candidates remains positive about the upcoming election.
“I trust the people of West Vancouver, and I think they will see through this completely,” said Sager.