Former Pitt Meadows mayor John Becker is scheduled to have hearings before the Law Society of B.C. this month, relating to his legal practice. (News files)

Former Pitt Meadows mayor John Becker is scheduled to have hearings before the Law Society of B.C. this month, relating to his legal practice. (News files)

Former Pitt Meadows mayor comes before Law Society

John Becker faces discipline hearings this month

Former Pitt Meadows mayor John Becker is scheduled for three Law Society of B.C. discipline hearings this month.

He had three citations authorized by the Law Society in 2018 and early 2019. They list allegations to be considered in the hearings.

One citation is for misappropriation, involving 44 charges from Feb. 6, 2012 to Sept. 3, 2014. Listed in that citation is failure to deliver a bill before withdrawal of client funds, and using pre-signed trust cheques. There is also an allegation of misappropriation or improper billing involving 205 charges. That citation was issued on Sept. 25, 2018.

That hearing was scheduled for October and early November, but has been adjourned.

A second and third citation were issued on Feb. 5, 2019.

One involves letters which allegedly contained untruthful or misleading information about Becker & Company’s trademark agent status from 2015 and 2016. It also says during an investigation of complaints, Becker failed to respond fully to the Law Society, or made false representations.

A hearing into that matter is scheduled for Nov. 17 and 18.

A third citation will inquire into allegations of professional misconduct between Nov. 2017 and 2018. It involves 199 clients, and says Becker removed their corporate records from “G Legal” without their knowledge, instructions or consent, and failed to provide the clients with accurate information about the location of their records.

That hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24-27.

The allegations are unproven until a discipline hearing has determined their validity.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows First World War vet resigned from city council to fight

“The law society has an obligation to investigate these allegations no matter how baseless I feel they may be. I look forward to finally having these allegations refuted through testimony under oath and cross-examination,” said Becker when the citations were issued in 2019.

Becker was first elected to Pitt Meadows council in 2002. He ran for mayor in 2011, but lost his seat on council until winning the mayoralty in 2014. He was defeated by Mayor Bill Dingwall after one term in the October 2018 election.

The range of possible sanctions for a lawyer who has committed a discipline violation may include a reprimand, a fine up to $50,000, suspension or disbarment. The discipline hearings are conducted by a member of the Law Society board, a lawyer who is not on the board and a member of the public who is not a lawyer.

The Law Society aims to render decisions 90 days after the last hearing day or submission.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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