Former Vancouver Police Board director speaks about resignation

Now-former director Faye Wightman is providing more details about what spurred her abrupt resignation from the Vancouver Police Board during an in-camera meeting last month.

In a statement to CityNews, Wightman says she believes “the governance structure at the Vancouver Police Board is flawed,” and the best interests of the public, the VPB, and Vancouver Police Department were all “at risk.”

“I felt compromised continuing as a director when I could see flaws in the system that were detrimental to effective governance,” wrote Wightman.

She claims two other directors were in a conflict of interest but didn’t name them publicly.

“If the board is comprised of directors who have a professional reliance on the City of Vancouver for funding, or on maintaining a positive relationship with the Mayor, who also chairs the police board, then their objectivity is compromised,” she said.

“That is the case with two of our directors at the VPB and it was becoming clear they were in a position of conflict.”

Wightman also raises concerns about “politically appointed individuals” working in Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim’s office providing feedback and becoming involved in board matters, saying “any involvement” by these individuals “compromises the board.”

She claims this was happening more often, and interference was becoming more direct. However, she did not provide any specific examples of the alleged interference.

The letter goes on to claim there’s a conflict of interest in a mayor being chair of a police board, when the budget is a municipal responsibility.

Vancouver Police Board does ‘not discuss contents of in-camera meetings’

In a statement to CityNews, the Vancouver Police Board responded to the allegations made by Wightman, saying it does “not discuss contents of in-camera meetings due to their confidential nature,” adding it also does “not discuss board personnel matters publicly.”

“The Vancouver Police Board is an independent group of dedicated members focused on good governance. All board decisions are made independent of political considerations,” wrote Vice Chair Frank Chong.

“As a matter of good governance, any allegations of real or perceived conflicts of interest are appropriately addressed. We further reject any insinuations that decisions by the Board are directed by the Mayor’s Office.”

Prior to being on the Vancouver Police Board, Wightman was president and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation. She retired from that position in 2013.

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