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Penticton mayor accused of making death threats in family feud: court documents

Penticton’s mayor threatened siblings lives, says court documents filed by brother
Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki. (Contributed)

The family of Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki has filed a notice to dismiss his lawsuit against them and to grant their counterclaim regarding the mayor’s alleged assault of his brother.

The notice was filed in Kelowna’s courts on Feb. 22., and cites John’s lack of urgency with moving the trial ahead, as well as testimony given in discovery for the case among the reasons to dismiss John’s case and grant his brother Nicholas damages and legal costs.

The circumstances around the alleged assault were expanded upon, including a voicemail John left on his sister’s phone prior to the incident that was filed in court discovery. (Discovery is a formal pre-trial process. Most common it is to take depositions which is out-of-court statements given under oath by any person involved in the case.)

According to the transcripts from the court discovery held Jan. 17, 2022, a recording of John includes multiple expletives and accusations directed at his family and multiple threats to kill or harm them for allegedly stealing from him.

“You better bring back my coins, or [sic] help me I’ll [expletive] put you in the hospital for six months; do you understand?” read a part of the message, which was transcribed by an official court reporter.

Later on in the voicemail, John threatens the family.

“You don’t know how, how badly I feel right now. I’m gonna kill all of you. Do you [expletive] understand me?”

Questioned on the record, Vassilaki said he couldn’t recall exactly what threats he might have said but agreed that he could have said those things prior to driving over to his sister’s house. Once he arrived, he is accused by his brother of assaulting him. John admitted there was an altercation but denies that it reached the extent of an assault.

READ MORE: Penticton mayor’s family lawsuit heats up with alleged assault counterclaim

During discovery, John also said on the record that he and his brother had not had a written agreement on the lease for the Greer Block and the Cellar Wine Bar restaurant, which John alleges had not been providing him with his fair share of the rent. John’s brother Nicholas, as well as his nephews George and Florio, were all been named in the mayor’s initial civil claim that was originally filed in August 2021.

The original claim also alleged that John’s nephews had engaged in a conspiracy, and exerted their influence over Nicholas to ensure that John did not receive all of the rental money he believed he was entitled to; however, during discovery John said on the record that although the brothers are owners of the property, they are not involved in the operation of the restaurant, and he receives all of the bank statements that he brings to the restaurant to give to Nicholas.

Further, despite being named in the original claim, John said on the record that he believed George was not involved with any influence of his brother.

A total of $30,000, is being requested in the notice to dismiss, for the assault as well as for aggravated and punitive damages.

The notice to dismiss also includes allegations that Vassilaki accused the lawyer representing his family of acting improperly.

None of the claims or counter-claims have been proven in court.

The filed application has not been heard by any court. The application is material filed on behalf of three family members against John Vassilaki who is entitled to respond but hasn’t done so yet. The application is set for hearing in Kelowna before the BC Supreme Court on March 28, 2022 for a full day. Neither John Vassilaki nor his lawyer could be reached by press time for comment in respect of the evidence to support the claims or answer the counter -claims.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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