Pitt Meadows councillor convicted of sex assault resigns from job

Pitt Meadows councillor convicted of sex assault resigns from job

David Murray will retire from work with city of Port Coquitlam

David Murray, the Pitt Meadows councillor who was convicted of sexual assault, has resigned from his job with the City of Port Coquitlam.

On Oct. 25, Murray was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13- or 14-year-old girl who worked at his business 25 years ago.

Port Coquitlam Chief Administrative Officer John Leeburn said Murray will resign from the city effective Jan. 31, 2018, when he will retire.

He said Murray has been a city employee for 16 years as a parks maintenance worker, doing jobs such as picking up litter and weeding flower beds.

When charges against him were laid about a year ago, he was given duties that would keep him away from the public, said Leeburn.

Murray had been on paid leave from his job since Oct. 2, just before the start of his trial.

Leeburn confirmed the city had been consulting a lawyer about Murray’s future employment. The issue to be considered is how the offence relates to the employee’s work, he said.

The city was still working with its lawyer when Murray voluntarily retired.

Murray has already resigned from his position on Pitt Meadows council, to take effect on Jan. 2, 2018, but not before a loud public outcry about him not immediately resigning. That includes a community petition to have him resign. It collected more than 1,100 signatures.

He will be on an unpaid leave from council until his official resignation.

Murray was also the publisher of the online news magazine, Pitt Meadows Today, which appears to have gone offline.

Murray is not in custody, and will be back in court on Jan. 10, 2018 for a sentencing hearing.

He was unavailable for comment.

Murray was first charged on Nov. 16, 2016 with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference with a person under the age of 14 in relation to incident back in 1992.

He pleaded not guilty and elected a trial by provincial judge.

Murray remained on council, to which he was first elected in 2011, and attended regular meetings, as well as community events.

A former employee of Murray testified at the start of his trial that he sexually assaulted her at their workplace in 1992.

The woman, whose identity is covered by a publication ban, told the court she began working for Murray that summer and that the two initially had a friendly relationship.

His behaviour eventually turned “inappropriate” as he bought her expensive clothing and took her out for dinners, including one at a revolving restaurant.

One day in late summer or early fall of 1992, she said at the trial, Murray asked her to come into work early.

When she arrived, she said the workplace was still closed and Murray was the only person there.

In court, the complainant described the alleged assault. She said she was lying down, and that Murray was kneeling beside her as moved his hands up her leg, under her shorts, and touched her genitals.

The complainant could not remember how long the alleged assault lasted, but said that when it was done, Murray walked away to a different part of the workplace.

She finished her shift and never came back to work. She did not see Murray again until she moved to Pitt Meadows as an adult.

She decided to report Murray to the RCMP in 2015, following a public city meeting where she saw him in person.

Murray was originally charged with sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 14.

But Crown counsel asked for the second charge to be stayed, citing an inability to confirm whether the complainant was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged assault.

The maximum sentence for sexual assault is 10 years in prison, and there is no minimum sentence.

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