B.C. realty regulator disciplined Conservative candidate 3 times
The Conservative candidate in a suburban Vancouver riding was disciplined three times by British Columbia's real estate regulator, the Canadian Press has learned.
Sukhmander (Sam) Rakhra, who is challenging NDP incumbent Peter Julian in Burnaby-New Westminster in the Oct. 14 federal election, has been sanctioned for incompetence and professional misconduct by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
Material covering three instances of discipline in 2004, 2005 and 2007, which included a six-month suspension that ended Aug. 10 this year, was sent to CP by a Liberal party source.
The council, which administers the B.C. Real Estate Services Act, confirmed the infractions Monday and provided details of the disciplinary settlement.
Rakhra currently does not hold a real estate licence after surrendering his licence last December, the regulator said.
Rakhra did not respond to an interview request, but Conservative spokesman Colin Metcalfe said the party was aware of his problems before he won the nomination in June.
"What we know is there have been a few incidents where there were administrative matters not handled properly in his real estate business," Metcalfe said.
"That matters were dealt with between the candidate and the real estate council to their satisfaction, and as far as we're concerned the matter is closed."
Infractions described as 'pretty serious'
Council spokesman Anthony Cavanaugh said Rakhra was ordered to take remedial courses and may face a requalification hearing if he wants to get his licence back.
"It's pretty serious on the scale of the sanctions that we hand out," he said.
Rakhra obtained his real estate licence in 1987 and had been managing broker of Tapestry Realty when the infractions occurred.
His position made him responsible for overseeing other agents at his firm, Cavanaugh said.
"The real estate council has no tolerance for any kind of behaviour that contravenes its act or the rules," he said.
The length of the suspension was due to Rakhra's previous disciplinary history, Cavanaugh said.
"We very rarely see multiple infractions," he said. "When we do, the sanctions that we hand out reflect that accordingly."
Rakhra was handed a retroactive six-month suspension in 2004 after stepping aside during the council's investigation that concluded he was negligent in complying with rules under the then-Real Estate Act, including premature withdrawal of commissions from trust accounts.
He was reprimanded the following year for infractions related to a series of transactions by a broker under his supervision.
In an agreed statement of facts on last year's case, the council found Rakhra and Tapestry committed several infractions, including non-disclosure of a conflict of interest by one agent in a real estate deal and in the way clients were advised by another agent with respect to direct payments made to sellers and/or developers.
Metcalfe said the party believes Rakhra is in a three-way race with NDP candidate Julian and Liberal Gerry Lenoski.