Former city solicitor Devine files charges against Vancouver Mayor and Aldermen – December 23, 1889

Mayor and Aldermen called to County Court in New Westminster to answer charges filed by Mr. John Devine, former City Auditor. Finance Committee deplores Mr. Devine’s breach of confidentiality in bringing financial irregularities before the public.

This transcript was made in 2014 by Transcribimus volunteers
Margaret Sutherland and Joy Marie Vasquez

original handwritten minutes here

City of Vancouver Archives
Series 23-A Volume 3 page 228-231

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Vancouver Dec 23rd 1889
The Council met on Monday December 23rd 1889.
Present His Worship, the Mayor and Aldermen Brewer, Brighouse, Clark, Costello, Horne, McConnell and Whetham.
The Minutes of last meeting were read and adopted.


From J. J. Blake notifying Council that it would be necessary to provide Council for arguing the legal questions arising in the case of McHugh as the City of Vancouver. Referred to the Finance Committee.

From J. W. McFarland Secy V. W. W. Co. acknowledging receipt of communications re hydrants on Princess St. Filed.

From Geo. S. Bodington Eng. M.D. asking payment of his fee for Affidavit re Small pox on the S. S. Premier. Referred to Finance Committee.

From A. H. B. MacGowan, Secretary of the School Trustees asking that a sidewalk be layed on Robson or Smithe Streets between Granville and Burrard Streets. Referred to the Board of Works.

From A. H. B. MacGowan Secretary of the Board of Trade asking the Council to set aside a sum of money say $1,000.00 to make a survey of False Creek to be furnished to the Department of Public Works for the improvement of the Navigation of said Creek. Referred to the Finance Committee.

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From C. Warwick Dep. Register of the Court summoning the Mayor and Aldermen to appear at a County Court to behold on at New Westminster on the 5th day of February 1890 at the hour of 11 o’clock A. M. to answer a claim preferred by John Devine. Referred to the City Solicitor.


Finance No 34

The Finance Committee met on Friday December 20th 1889.

Present Aldermen Salsbury, Clark and Costello. We beg to report:

1. That the Report of the late City Auditor, Mr. John Devine, was fully considered and it was decided by the Committee that the complaints therein contained were trivial and generally unworthy of notice. Most of it all of the points referred to have been thoroughly placed before the public during the recent campaign and it is therefore not necessary to mention them again in detail. The Committee regrets that a confidential officer, like the City Auditor should have so abused his trust as to make public details of irregularities however slight which he was specially appointed by this Committee to discover and report to them for their guidance in dealing with the City officials having charge of the accounts and before having made himself fully acquainted with all particulars pertaining thereto.

2. That the communication of Messrs Carbould, McCall & Jenns re Page, Ponsford has been referred to the City

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Solicitor for his opinion thereon.

3. That the following accounts have been examined and found correct and are hereby recommended for payment:
J. J. Blake, Expenses to Victoria $20.00
J. J. Blake, Witness fees etc. 23.00
A. K. Stuart, Police Court Services 8.50
B. C. Gazette, Advertising 158.50
Bank of B. C. Commissions 44.82
C. P. Telegraph Co. 3.95
Palmer Bros. Coal 90.75
H. Hemlow, Assisting City Clerk 3.00

4. That the item of $170.00 in the Report of the F. W. & L. Committee be allowed to stand over.
Sgd. W. F. Salsbury, Chairman

Moved by Alderman Costello, seconded by Alderman McConnell. That the Report of the Finance Committee be adopted. Carried.

The lease to the Brockton Point Athletic Club was read over clause by clause.

Moved by Alderman Horne, seconded by Alderman Clark. That the Council approve of the lease for the Brockton Point Athletic Club with the exception of the clause relating to the time, which is limited to 40 years and the clause relating to the admittance fee which is amending by adding “that children under 12 years be admitted free at half price; such lease to be printed for one week. Carried.

Moved by Alderman Salsbury, seconded by Alderman Costello. That the City Treasurer

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be instructed to pay the City Officials at the end of the present month instead of on the first of the year in order to close out the account for 1889. Carried.

Moved by Alderman McConnell, seconded by Alderman Brewer. That John H. Grady, Thomas Crawford and Joseph Gibson be paid at the end of the present month for services as special constables for the respective number of days which they have worked since appointment such time to be furnished by the Sergeant of Police, such officials to be paid at the rate of 60.00 per month. Carried.

Notice of Motion

Alderman Salsbury gave notice that he would introduce a motion at the next meeting of Council in reference to the smelting works.

The Council then adjourned.

D. Oppenheimer, Mayor
Thos. F. McGuigan, City Clerk