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POUCE COUPE, B.C. — Former Pouce Coupe Mayor Lorraine Michetti’s petition to remove her successor, Danielle Veach, was dismissed by the BC Supreme Court.
Judge Ward Branch made a final decision and sent it to Veach and Michetti on January 10th, dismissing the case and upholding the 2022 election as lawful.
Michetti filed a petition in November 2022 claiming Veach should be removed on the grounds of trying to buy and intimidate voters and “serious fraudulent misrepresentations” about her character.
The judge stated in the verdict that the meet and greet event that Michetti alleged was an attempt by Veach to buy votes did not violate the Local Government Act and was not an instance of vote buying.
“There is no other evidence from any other attendees at the Tea and Talk that they believed that Mrs.Veach intended to intimidate or, by fraudulent means, persuade, compel or otherwise cause them to vote, not vote, or vote in any particular way,” read Branch’s decision.
During the Tea and Talk, Veach allegedly made false statements claiming Michetti was the reason for a former village administrator’s suicide.
Branch said there was only one witness of the alleged misrepresentations, “but his evidence had both reliability and credibility problems.”
Michetti also alleged that Veach told voters during an event at the Nawican Friendship Centre that Michetti endangered a friend of Veach’s by giving out her contact information to an ex-husband while she was in a witness protection program.
Branch said there was no evidence of statements being made to any Pouce Coupe voter at the event and didn’t find that a false statement was made.
Branch also ruled that Veach’s conversations at both events did not constitute voter intimidation through fraudulent misrepresentation.
With the election being upheld by the judge, Danielle Veach will remain the mayor of Pouce Coupe.
The case was heard in the Supreme Civil court in Vancouver in December over the course of four days.
This is not Michetti’s first brush with the court system. Michetti took the Village of Pouce Coupe to court twice after she had been stripped of her portfolios on council.
In a post on Facebook about the judgement, Veach said she was thankful she would be able to continue to work with the people and staff of Pouce Coupe to better the community.
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