Fraud and forgery charges against the former executive-director of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce, and an employee, have been dropped.
The charges were stayed April 24 in Port Coquitlam provincial court.
Dean Alan Barbour had been facing a charge of fraud over $5,000 and uttering a forged document, while Shannon Milne was facing a charge of fraud under $5,000 and uttering a forged document, between Dec. 15, 2008 and Jan. 15, 2010.
The pair was charged in January 2012.
Chamber president Ken Holland says it’s time to move on, although he was surprised to learn the Crown prosecutor decided against proceeding.
“It seemed like they really wanted to go forward with it. They were very adamant that this was going forward.
“I would like to know some answers, but if we don’t get them, that’s fine.
“It’s a relief to get it out of the way.”
The charges being dropped though was no surprise to Barbour.
“I was surprised at the charges, and wasn’t surprised that they were stayed at all.”
Barbour worked for the chamber from November 2007 to July 2010.
Having the charges filed against him in January 2012, was a complete surprise.
“Those charges came completely out of left field. We were just completely flabbergasted.”
He said no one ever contacted him to ask any questions before charges were filed. Had it gone to trial, Barbour was confident, saying he had witnesses and documents.
Having Milne involved was “ludicrous,” he added. “She never should have been involved with this.”
Barbour said the issue has been costly, but he’s remained in Maple Ridge and was supported in the community.
“I have not hidden under a rock and I have not avoided people in this town.”