Mayor’s lawyer calls conflict of interest petition a ‘fishing expedition’
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is seen in this file photo dated Jan. 9, 2013. (24 HOURS)
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s lawyer said in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday that allegations made by his client’s political rival were “groundless” and even “frivolous.”
Joe Arvay defended the mayor on the first day of hearings regarding a petition alleging conflict of interest that was put forward by rival mayoral candidate Glen Chernen of the Cedar Party, as well as several others.
Chernen’s supporting arguments for a conflict of interest include a Twitter town hall the mayor held at HootSuite’s headquarters before winning the election, as well as the promotional “HootKit” he received containing stickers, a T-shirt and a mug. Chernen also alleges Robertson knew Ryan Holmes, HootSuite’s CEO, which he links with the fact the company rented city property.
“The claim of conflict of interest is simply preposterous,” said Arvay, calling Chernen’s petition a “fishing expedition.”
Robertson had previously called the claims “bizarre” and said they were a waste of the court’s time.
Chernen put forward his petition in hopes that a judge will unseat Robertson, as allowed by the Vancouver Charter if he is found guilty of a conflict of interest.
“Legal challenges commenced against the city require that the city expend considerable time and resources in defence through the work of in-house counsel and/or the retainer of outside lawyers and other experts,” said a statement from the city. “The amount expended in each case varies according to the nature, complexity and court process involved.”