Union Bay Improvement District trustee Susanna Kaljur has officially started legal action against UBID board chair Ted Haraldson for defamation, according to a Notice of Civil Claim.
The notice also mentions John Does #1, 2, 3 and 4 as defendants, who are allegedly unknown to Kaljur, but, according to the documents, also had a role in the defamation of her character. The notice, dated Feb. 25, states that since Haraldson was elected in April of 2018, there has been a “sustained public effort to politically marginalize and humiliate the plaintiff, including persistently interrupting the plaintiff at board meetings, claiming that the plaintiff was not entitled to vote on or propose corrections to board meeting minutes, and repeatedly evicting and excluding the plaintiff from board meetings by various means.”
In mid-February, Kaljur threatened to take legal action after she was suspended from the board on Jan. 10.
She gave a Feb. 15 deadline for Haraldson to acknowledge the suspension was illegal and to send a written apology.
A written apology was posted to the UBID website, signed by Haraldson and the other three trustees. However, four days later, a short statement also posted on the website stated that Haraldson had cancelled the remaining February and March board meetings.
“The apology was really secondary,” said Kaljur. “I simply wanted to be reinstated as a board member, but now it’s meaningless in that they’ve decided what moving forward looks like is to simply disband the board.
“There’s a tender out on the water treatment plant and all these issues require the board to be functioning.”
With the lawsuit, Kaljur hopes for acknowledgment that allegations made against her have been false and designed to discredit her. She adds that as a clinical counsellor, the defamation has hurt her professionally.
“I am holding a position of trust and what has been said about me … that’s defamation of my character, and I am a professional, and I just can’t stand by and not do something about that.”
A request for comment has been sent to Haraldson.