Lyle Leo lawsuit may be settled 

A trial date has been set for the Mount Currie Band's lawsuit against Lyle Leo but it may well be pre-empted by a settlement.

Documents listed on Court Services Online indicate that a court date has been set for June 28 at 10 a.m. with a judge alone but the band, according to Chief Leonard Andrew, may settle the lawsuit before that happens.

He said in a brief interview that the Mount Currie Band is holding a council meeting on Tuesday night to decide how they wish to proceed. He admitted that settlement is a possibility.

"There's a possibility of that right now," he said. "Obviously we're going to discuss that issue. That needs to be the target date for that issue, it's been ongoing for well over a year now."

Andrew said the band would likely be issuing a news release on the matter after it came to a decision on Tuesday. He did not return calls on Wednesday.

The Mount Currie Band filed a lawsuit against Lyle Leo, formerly its chief negotiator in charge of securing economic opportunities, on February 4, 2009, alleging that he had taken over half a million dollars in secret payments from proponents of a development in the Soo Valley.

The Band council unanimously decided to file the lawsuit days prior to an election in which Leo would be a candidate against Andrew, the incumbent.

Leo said via e-mail that he's been instructed not to speak to anyone about legal issues and thus deferred all requests to his lawyer.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, Leo said it was "all about getting a pound of flesh out of Lyle Leo and trying to scare him off of running for chief of council."

The case has had numerous hearings in B.C. Supreme Court since it was filed. Court Services Online indicates that Leo applied for mediation on March 22. A mediation hearing was set for March 26, 2010 at 2 p.m. but it's unclear what the results of that hearing were.

The allegations, detailed in an amended statement of claim from Feb. 27, 2009, said Leo had taken $550,335. The statement said he took approximately 50 payments from CRB Logging Co. Ltd., a co-defendant in the suit that does logging and forestry management near Squamish and Pemberton.

The money, however, is believed to have come from Delta Lands Corporation and the Delta Group of Companies, a Vancouver-based company that was pushing the Soo Valley development. The company already owns a number of developments and is in charge of a $120 million renovation at the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

The statement of claim went on to allege that Leo was a partner in a "secret business" with Stephen Miles and Paul Turner, principals with CRB Logging, and that he got $204,711.48 as a secret commission for profits taken by that business after it built a road in the Callaghan Valley.

Andrew was ultimately re-elected Chief Councillor of the Mount Currie Band Council. He got 332 votes and Leo came second with 169.

Leo carried on with business in the Pemberton area after the election. He submitted an application to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada that allowed 2,000 aboriginal people from across the country to work as security guards during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

He also became partner in a joint venture with United Protection Security Group, one of three companies that made up Contemporary Security Canada (CSC), which provided security screening services at the 2010 Games.

 

 

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