First Nations chief in Nanaimo suspended by his council

Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley suspended as First Nation gets ready to head to the polls

Snuneymuxw council has suspended Chief John Wesley until Feb. 1. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Snuneymuxw council has suspended Chief John Wesley.

The First Nation council suspended its chief last Friday until Feb. 1 next year, claiming an investigation found he breached his fiduciary duty and council governance policy.

Councillor Doug White II was appointed acting chief, according to a notice to SFN membership obtained by the News Bulletin.

The move comes as Wesley seeks a second consecutive term as chief in the Snuneymuxw election, which happens Dec. 2.

According to the notice – confirmed by SFN councillor Doug White III as internal communication between council to members – the decision to suspend Wesley was made after the final report of an investigation by an independent lawyer. Several events were looked into, including the decision by council in 2015 to terminate an employee and another individual who was acting as interim executive director. One of the employees prepared a $5,000 cheque for herself, and one of $15,000 for the other individual, the notice claims, adding that the cheques were not made in accordance with SFN financial procedure and were signed by Wesley and a former councillor.

“The investigation is now complete and the investigation finds that Chief Wesley breached both his fiduciary duty and the standards set out in the SFN council governance policy manual,” council states in the notice. “Council considers Chief Wesley’s breach of fiduciary duty owed to membership to be very serious and that is why the council has made a decision to issue the suspension.”

Council and acting chief said they “appreciate the enormity of this decision” and did not take it lightly and that they have taken steps to ensure “that this does not happen again.”

SFN councillor Doug White III said in a social media message to the News Bulletin that the matter is for the Snuneymuxw community, though he confirmed members were notified by council that a unanimous decision was made to suspend Wesley and appoint Doug White II, his father, as acting chief.

“Actions related to the independent investigation are still underway and until the matter is fully resolved it would be inappropriate to [say] anything further,” he said.

Wesley could not be reached for comment.

For updates on this article, visit www.nanaimobulletin.com.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Creative carvings on display at Rollin Art Centre

July’s exhibit will feature artists Cecil Dawson, Allen Halverson, Nigel Atkin and others

WATCH: Vintage trucks parade through Port Alberni

Industrial Heritage Society volunteers celebrate Canada Day with a quiet cruise through town

Prom on Wheels helps Port Alberni grads roll out of final year of high school

Volunteers brought mini prom to any Class of 2020 grads who signed up

EDITORIAL: Class of 2020, you survived a surreal year

You earned every day of this final year of your elementary and secondary schooling

Lifelong friends will MC virtual graduation ceremony for ADSS

Port Alberni’s Amrit Hundal and Sarah Matthews represent Class of 2020

VIDEO: Port Alberni’s 2020 graduates celebrate

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

Most Read