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Kamloops mayor files defamation suit against developer over alleged comments at nightclub

This is the second defamation suit the mayor has filed.
Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson intends to seek damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Joshua Knaak from speaking ill of the mayor.

The mayor of Kamloops has filed a second defamation suit, this time against a local developer who he says accused him of groping his wife and others in a downtown bar.

Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson filed a notice of civil claim Friday in B.C. Supreme Court against Joshua Knaak, a prominent developer behind a number of recent and ongoing projects in North Kamloops.

According to the claim, Hamer-Jackson ran into Knaak at a Victoria Street bar on March 31, 2023, following the conclusion of a Kamloops Blazers game.

The claim alleges Knaak said a number of defamatory things about the mayor at the Blue Grotto, namely “I heard you have been groping women on the dance floor” and “My wife is on her way here, if you could keep your hands off her tonight, that would be great.”

Hamer-Jackson also alleges Knaak accused him of having “grabbed” or “touched” his wife’s backside on a separate occasion a few months earlier.

‘Irresponsible critic’ of mayor

The lawsuit describes Knaak as “an outspoken and irresponsible critic of Mayor Hamer-Jackson.”

“As a consequence of the defamations described above, Mayor Hamer-Jackson has and continues to suffer grave damage to his reputation, upset and emotional damage as well as special damages including damages to his political and professional standing, all to be particularized at trial,” the lawsuit reads.

No dollar amount is set out, but Hamer-Jackson intends to seek damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Knaak from speaking ill of the mayor.

Knaak told Castanet Kamloops he did not wish to comment on the matter.

When he was contacted by Castanet for comment on the lawsuit, Hamer-Jackson suggested Knaak was a financial supporter of a number of his political rivals on city council.

Second such lawsuit

Hamer-Jackson’s claim misspells Knaak’s name throughout as Knaack.

It is the second such lawsuit filed by the mayor since his election in October of 2022. Last year, he filed a defamation suit against Coun. Katie Neustaeter, alleging claims she has made caused “damaging effects” on him, his family, friends and contacts.

Earlier this month, Neustaeter applied to have Hamer-Jackson’s case against her thrown out. That matter is expected to go in front of a B.C. Supreme Court judge at the Kamloops Law Courts in November.

None of the allegations in either of the mayor's lawsuits have been proven in court.

Once he has been served, Knaak will have 21 days to respond to the allegations in the claim.