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

The mayor’s brother alleges that John Vassilaki assaulted him in 2020
Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki is suing members of his family over the Greer Block which they co-own. (Brennan Phillips - Western News

The family of John Vassilaki has filed a response and counterclaim to his lawsuit over the Cellar Wine Bar, denying the mayor of Penticton’s claims and further alleging that he was assaulted by his brother.

On Aug. 26, Vassilaki filed a civil claim in Kelowna Supreme Court against his brother Nicholas and nephews George and Florio as well as Cellar Wine Bar Ltd., seeking damages and allegedly unpaid rental proceeds for the last eight years from the co-owned property.

The response to that claim was filed on Sept. 29. It maintains that the business has upheld the terms of the lease agreement including payment of rent, and that despite the claims by John Vassilaki, it included the sewer and utility costs and those costs had never been subject to a separate payment agreement, and that at all times the mayor was aware of what rent the Cellar was paying through his routine instructions and dealings with the business’ bookkeeper.

Further, the response claims that the Cellar had paid expenses on behalf of the owner of the Greer Block, such as fire inspection and certification costs, garbage removal, snow removal and cleaning costs for the block’s residential units, and that if there had been any unpaid rent it was offset by the described expenses.

READ MORE: Penticton Mayor sues family over co-owned property

The response denied any claim of conspiracy alleged to have occurred between George and Florio to take over control of the company from their father, stating they both live in Castlegar and have no involvement in the company’s management.

On Oct. 4, Nicholas filed a counterclaim, alleging that he had been assaulted by his brother.

The counterclaim alleges that in June 2020, John Vassilaki assaulted Nicholas, who as a result suffered injury to his shoulders, and further consequences including difficulty sleeping and fear for his life and bodily harm.

The Penticton RCMP have been contacted to confirm whether a report of the alleged incident was filed.

John Vassilaki was contacted prior to publishing and stated he had no comment.

No response to the counterclaim has been filed in court and none of the claims have been proven in court.

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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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