RCMP seize computers from former Mission councillor’s home

Former Mission councillor Ron Taylor had three computers inside his home seized by RCMP Monday night.

Around 7 p.m., three Mounties, one from Mission, Surrey and Chilliwack, armed with a search warrant took the equipment to look for alleged leaks from Mission council.

Taylor says he knew the district had asked for an RCMP investigation months ago and wasn’t surprised when they showed up on his doorstep, but he still thinks the move was inappropriate.

Mounties confirmed two search warrants were executed simultaneously on Monday, but wouldn’t reveal where the two properties were located or who was the complainant.

However, media reports this morning (May 12) indicate Coun. Jenny Stevens’ computers were also taken Monday evening from her residence.

Calls to Stevens by The Record have not been returned yet.

Mission RCMP has been conducting investigations into a breach of trust and breach of the Community Charter for a while now, said Cpl. Holly Marks.

“Computers were seized from both residences,” she noted, adding the investigation is ongoing, and no criminal charges have been laid.

Taylor has been vocal against the district’s Public Safety Inspection Team which scans BC Hydro data and inspects homes with higher than average power consumption for a marijuana grow operation.

Taylor doesn’t know if officials will find anything on his computer, but in the past he has used information from closed meetings to criticize council. He told The Record he has two sources and isn’t apologizing for his actions.

This is political intimidation, he said. “They hit my place like the CIA going through bin Laden documents.”

Taylor believes the district should be more concerned about “the damage they’re doing to the people of Mission” with its controlled substance property bylaw than searching his computer.

The district is facing a class-action lawsuit from residents who believe their rights were violated by the searches. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is supporting the court action, but as of Monday, the district has not been served.

Mayor James Atebe called the incident a police matter and declined to offer any comments.