British Columbia

Ex-executive at B.C.'s car sales regulator removed from 2 provincial boards for posing as a lawyer

A former top official at B.C.'s regulator for car sales has been removed from her positions on two provincial boards after a judge ruled she had misrepresented herself as a lawyer for years.

Loraine Lee's appointments rescinded at the Passenger Transportation Board and the Mental Health Review Board

Loraine Lee, formerly the chief operating officer and deputy registrar of B.C.'s Vehicle Sales Authority, repeatedly misrepresented herself as a lawyer. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

A former top official at B.C.'s regulator for car sales has been removed from her positions on two provincial boards after a judge ruled she had misrepresented herself as a lawyer for years.

Loraine Lee, formerly the chief operating officer for the Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA), no longer sits on the Mental Health Review Board or the Passenger Transportation Board, B.C.'s Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed Monday.

"By misrepresenting herself as a practising lawyer and member of the Law Society of British Columbia, her actions risk harming the public's confidence in these boards. As such, the ministry made the decision to rescind her appointments," a ministry spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC News.

In October, a B.C. Supreme Court justice handed down an order permanently prohibiting Lee from acting as a lawyer, giving legal advice or characterizing herself as qualified to practise law.

The order came in response to a petition from the Law Society of B.C., which stated that Lee had presented herself repeatedly as a lawyer during her time at the VSA and in her roles on the two boards.

According to the law society, Lee was a member of the bar for about seven months beginning in June of 1987.

Loraine Lee left her role with B.C.'s Vehicle Sales Authority in July. (Kirby Brame/snapd Victoria)

The VSA oversees the sale of cars and trucks for personal use in B.C., licensing dealerships and salespeople, handling complaints and issuing penalties to dealers who break the law.

The law society's petition stems from information provided by a member of the public who began looking into the agency's leadership after becoming concerned about how it dealt with his complaint against a car dealer who is also a member of the VSA board.

Lee left her role with the VSA in July, about two months after the petition was filed, as did former president and CEO Stephen Simms.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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