Penticton City Councillor James Miller has been asked to not attend public events after past sexual assault charges in Ontario, for which he was acquitted, have surfaced.
“Council is just learning of these concerning events from Councillor Miller’s past in Ontario and have directed staff to make appropriate inquiries,” said Mayor Julius Bloomfield in a public statement Wednesday night.
“As well, council has asked Coun. Miller not to attend public events until we’ve reached a conclusion on this.”
To further clarify, the city said Miller has only been asked not to attend public community events as a city representative.
“He is a member of council and able to participate in all those meetings,” said Shane Mills, city communications manager.
Miller is also the managing editor of the Penticton Herald. The criminal charges came to light on social media recently.
Miller has issued the following statement:
Almost two decades ago I was charged with assault and sexual assault and sexual interference. In 2006 I was acquitted of all those charges. I remain grateful to the Canadian legal system that found these allegations against me were unproven.
Since the charges were dismissed, I have moved on with my personal and professional life, believing that this difficult time in my past was now behind me and no longer relevant. It is troubling that someone has now attempted to make this old court case news, but I trust people in this community will judge me on the work I have done on their behalf as a Councillor and as editor of a local newspaper. My present goals remain to work for the citizens of Penticton as one of their Councillors and to continue my profession as a journalist.
Shortly after, he moved to Alberta before moving to the Okanagan where he began working at the Penticton Herald in 2008. The Herald’s general manager Shannon Huggard confirmed that Miller will continue in his position of editor.
In 2021, Miller entered politics, running in the by-election and winning. He sought re-election and won his seat in 2022.
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