(THE NEWS/files) Local author and environmentalist Scott Magri said assault charges from his past should not keep him from running for Pitt Meadows council.

Don’t let criminal record stop council candidates: Pitt Meadows man

Scott Magri worries old charges might affect him

Scott Magri worries that his past criminal convictions could preclude him from running for Pitt Meadows council as it lobbies the province for changes.

Council is going to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this, proposing changes that would require politicians convicted of serious crimes to be removed from office.

The issue came up in October 2017, when former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sexually assaulting a teen in 1992.

Council had no legal way to force Murray out of office. He left at the end of January voluntarily after a meeting with Mayor John Becker.

Murray was sentenced to nine months in jail, and would have been forced out of office if he had missed enough meetings. However, he is appealing the verdict and sentencing, and was released from custody.

There is potential under existing laws that a person in his situation could still be serving on a municipal council.

Magri agrees Murray should not be allowed to serve on Pitt Meadows council. However, he asserts that someone with a criminal past should not be precluded from running for council.

In 2011, Magri authored the book Lessons: Crime, Games & Pain, about his criminal past and struggles with addiction. He has three assault charges – one for pushing a store clerk and two for fighting in night clubs.

“Everybody has got a past, and that’s life in my books – you live and learn,” he said. “I’m not hiding anything.”

Magri ran for council in 2014 and received 1,224 votes. Many voters knew him for his environmental work on the Katzie Slough Restoration Project. He wasn’t too far from winning a council seat – Murray was successfully elected with the lowest total on council at 1,851 votes.

“They knew all about my past, and they were going to vote for me anyway,” Magri said of voters.

Magri, who turns 50 in September, said crime is in his past.

He does not believe past convictions, for which has already atoned, should be held against him, or other people who have criminal records.

Becker said that is not the intention of the resolution being proposed by Pitt Meadows council, and which was defeated at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association conference in May.

“It deals narrowly with situations where a person is elected and already in office, and is convicted of an offence,” he said.

“Our resolution would have no impact on Scott Magri’s ability to run for office.”

Becker, a lawyer, believes that when convicted people have served their sentences, they should be able to stand for office.

“The public could make a decision at that time.”

However, he agreed that once this issue of council members is before the provincial government, which alone has the authority to make changes to the Municipal Act, any changes made could be different than those recommended by Pitt Meadows or the UBCM.

The 2018 UBCM convention will be held Sept. 10-14 in Whistler.

Magri said he has not determined whether he will run for council again in 2018.

Just Posted

Man shot dead in Clayton area of Surrey, witnesses sought by police

It happened in the 18200-block of 67A Avenue

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

North Delta crime beat: week of June 12

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

It’s all about the journey for Delta’s pageant hopefuls

Minette Gendur and Jaskiran Kaur will be competing for Mrs. B.C. and Miss B.C., respectively

PHOTOS: Elgin Park Secondary hosts car show in South Surrey

Students co-ordinated event to raise money for school’s tech department

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field (updated)

Plane lost power shortly after takeoff, RCMP told

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read