A special prosecutor has been hired to provide legal assistance and advice to the RCMP in connection with an investigation involving Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, the BC Prosecution Service said Monday.
Richard Fowler will be appointed to the case after Peter Juk, the assistant deputy attorney general for the prosecution service, received a request from the RCMP on Sept. 13 for assistance in the investigation.
McCallum had told police he was “verbally assaulted” and hit by a car in the parking lot of a Save-On-Foods in South Surrey on Sept. 4.
He said a female driver clipped his knee and his bottom leg, then ran over his foot.
A member of the group “Keep the RCMP in Surrey,” whose members were collecting petition signatures at the time, told Global News that McCallum approached them, saying someone had run over his foot.
Global News has learned that surveillance video has been obtained and that it may show exactly what did or did not happen in the parking lot that day.
The RCMP has also asked Global News to preserve reporter Catherine Urquhart’s interview with McCallum two weeks ago in case it becomes evidence in the investigation.
McCallum said after he was hit, he did his grocery shopping and then went to Peace Arch Hospital.
“They took some X-rays, they looked at my foot and everything and they said that the soft tissue was very badly bruised,” he told Global News.
Surrey is transitioning from the RCMP to a municipal police force, which was one of McCallum’s election promises in 2018 and has divided the public.
A special prosecutor should be appointed because of the nature of the allegations in this case, McCallum’s position as a public official in a senior position of authority and the ongoing public discussion about the RCMP and a municipal police force, Juk said in a statement.
The role is meant to avoid “any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice,” the prosecution service said.
Fowler is a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice. He was given the mandate to provide legal advice to the investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges are approved.
Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the incident at the Save-On-Foods happened on Sept. 5.