Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley’s top cop reassigned amid charity gala questions

Overtime concerns raised in connection to RCMP attendance at Langely City mayor’s gala

Langley’s top cop has been reassigned amid alleged concerns about the City mayor’s Winter Wonderland Gala and RCMP overtime.

The gala was organized by Mayor Val van den Broek, in partnership with the local RCMP, and resulted in a $56,000 donation to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Soon after the Jan. 25 gala, van den Broek defended her fundraising event after City Councillor Teri James asked for an accounting of the event and RCMP costs. The mayor also received criticism for using the City logo without authorization under the municipality’s branding policy.

Now the head of the Langley RCMP detachment, who also attended the gala, has been reassigned “temporarily”, the RCMP’s E-Division headquarters confirms. Supt. Murray Power is still listed on the Langley RCMP website as officer in charge.

The RCMP would not comment on Power’s reassignment specifically, citing privacy issues, but spokesperson Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoilet could speak to policy.

“While we respect your request is very specific, we are not in a position to provide anything as we have to respect the Privacy Act and fairness in process,” said the senior media relations officer for E Division – which oversees the region, including the Langley detachment. “This applies to all employees in the RCMP.”

It’s not against policy for members to attend community events such as the mayor’s gala if it’s part of their work, such as patrolling a fair or being part of a protection detail for a dignitary.

“If you’re on duty, there may be community events that are attended on duty,” Shoihet added.

She also noted that officers can sign up for overtime opportunities, but can’t be compelled to do overtime.

“Overtime can never be mandated,” she said.

Back in February, the Langley Advance Times submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the local RCMP regarding the costs associated with the mayor’s gala, after hearing rumours that local officers were offered overtime hours if they attended the fundraising event.

The newspaper did not receive the requested information, initially being told the officer responsible was away on leave. Upon following up on Aug. 31, the Advance Times was told its request had been misdirected to Langley’s Professional Standards Unit. Instead, the news outlet was redirected by RCMP E-Division to submit an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) – not an FOI – online at the federal level. That has since been done.

• Langley City mayor and council clash over gala

Van den Broek told the Langley Advance Times Friday that she would respond via statement, which she sent Friday, but would not take media questions.

“I will not comment on allegations relating to the participation of RCMP members,” she said. “Those are the subject of a separate, independent investigation, and it would be wrong for me to comment while that investigation is ongoing.”

She, herself, is a federal employee on unpaid leave while being mayor. She worked in the community policing office in Langley City prior to being elected mayor.

She said she issued the statement to clarify some points, including a question about the gala being a private function.

“The gala has also been described as a private event,” van den Broek said.

“That is not an accurate characterization. The event was open to the public,” she said. “The gala was advertised to the public, and any member of the public was free to purchase a ticket and attend. Tickets were sold through Eventbrite, an established distributor for concerts and other public events. More importantly, the purpose of the event was entirely charitable. The gala was not organized for anyone’s private gain – not mine or anyone else’s.”

At a council meeting after the gala, when Coun. James raised concerns, the mayor voted in favour of James’ motion to have staff report on costs and the logo use issue.

At a luncheon where the funds were presented to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, the mayor commented on the controversies generated. Van den Broek once again insisted no staff resources were used to help stage the event.

“Every aspect of this gala was done by donations, sponsorship, and volunteers with no cost to the City and all proceeds going to our hospital,” van den Broek said at the luncheon.

Her Friday statement said that when the concerns about the use of the logo were brought up, the organizers stopped using it.

“Apart from the unfortunate public controversy which the gala has generated, it was rewarding for me to help raise money for such a deserving cause,” the mayor said. “I would like to continue my efforts for these types of causes, and I am hopeful that other members of council will be able to support similar events in the coming years.”

.


Got a news tip?

Email: heather.colpitts@langleyadvancetimes.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)

Just Posted

Melissa Martin from the Rollin Art Centre holds two paintings from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection: an original portrait painted by the late Robert Aller, and a mixed media piece called ‘House’ from Peggy Larson that was part of Aller’s private collection. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre to re-open February 2

Newest exhibit will feature some pieces from permanent collection

Rik Abel has opened Rik’s Picks, a vintage record shop on Johnston Road. (TERESA BIRD / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses get innovative during pandemic

See what’s new in the Port Alberni business community

Gord John stands during question period in Ottawa in Sept. 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIAN DIOTTE, HOUSE OF COMMONS PHOTO SERVICES)
2020: A Year in Review with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

NDP MP wants to ‘build back better’ in 2021

Education advisor Tom McEvay congratulates two Alberni Valley Bulldogs on their high academic achievements for the 2015-16 season: Quinn Syrydiuk, left, for college and Cayden Kraus for high school. (KAICEE TROTT PHOTO)
BCHL: Port Alberni’s Tom McEvay joins Coquitlam Express as education advisor

McEvay now schools players for three teams, including Alberni and Nanaimo

Gary Bender from Bailey Electric secures two art banners on lampposts at Argyle Street and Sixth Avenue in May 2020. Despite a delay due to COVID-19 measures, the Rotary Club of Port Alberni-Arrowsmith was able to collect and put up half of the art banners it usually does in the Rotary Arts District. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Rotary Arts District banner program switches to ‘paint at home’ for 2021

Arrowsmith Rotary Club needs 80 registrations to go ahead this year

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

Most Read