A Prince George, B.C., councillor has been charged with the unauthorized release of personal information after the CBC reported on a confidential report about the conduct of a senior RCMP officer last year.
Coun. Brian Skakun calls the charges laid against him under B.C.'s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act outrageous.
"This charge, the way I understand it, has never happened in the province of B.C., ever. And the resources and the time that went into this from the attorney general's office down to get me is absolutely mind-boggling," said Skakun.
The confidential information was contained in a legal opinion presented to the city council in a closed-door session, but Skakun said the information was in the public domain well before that meeting.
Harassment allegation sparked report
The city had commissioned the report after an allegation of harassment was levelled against then-Supt. Dahl Chambers, the highest-ranking RCMP officer in the city at the time.
The report outlined a romantic relationship between Chambers and a city employee responsible for overseeing civilian staff at the RCMP in Prince George.
The report called that relationship a conflict of interest. Chambers later requested and was granted a transfer out of northern B.C.
CBC obtained the documents, reported on them, and posted them online, in August 2008.
Skakun's first court appearance is set for Sept. 22, and he told CBC News he looks forward to clearing his name at trial.
CBC senior producer Wayne Williams said it is CBC's policy not to comment on confidential sources.
The report outlined a romantic relationship between Dahl Chambers and a city employee responsible for overseeing civilian staff of the RCMP in Prince George. An earlier version of this story said the city employee was responsible for overseeing the RCMP in Prince George.Aug 19, 2009 2:42 PM PT