Paul Braun sits next to where he used to panhandle — now occupied by the recycling bin he leans on — after the City of Penticton moved the garbage and recycling bins to his and others’ usual panhandling spot. Braun must now return to court after not completing the court ordered conditions of his guilty plea. (Western News file photo)

Penticton panhandler to return to court for breach of conditions

Paul Braun failed to complete his community service hours and pay his fines to the city

Penticton panhandler Paul Braun is scheduled to return to court after not meeting the conditions of his guilty plea for violating the city’s panhandling bylaw.

At a sentencing September, Braun agreed to pay $145 to the city for eight counts of panhandling in the breezeway between Main Street and the alleyway east of the street in the 200 block and for the associated court costs. He also agreed to complete 60 hours of community service for the city by the court-appointed deadline of Dec. 15, 2018.

According to Tina Siebert, bylaw supervisor for the city, Braun did not pay his fines or complete his community service hours.

“Since he breached the court order, we have to go back to court in a couple of weeks,” said Siebert. “He just did a very small portion (of his hours). If he was only a couple hours short of completing it, we definitely wouldn’t be in this situation. But it wasn’t close.”

READ ALSO: Video: Panhandler sued by City of Penticton accepts plea deal

Siebert said the court did not stipulate what he had to do to fulfill his hours, just that he had to work alongside her. She said some of the tasks she had set aside for him included garbage collection and desk work.

“He did start doing his hours and then he just stopped showing up,” said Siebert. “He didn’t provide a reason for not completing the hours.”

The previous city council and former mayor Andrew Jakubeit took some heat from the public in early 2018 when they made the decision to take Braun to court. At the time, he had eight outstanding bylaw violations for “panhandling in a manner to cause obstruction.” Jakubeit said he did receive a lot of support from community members who were happy to see the city taking action against bylaw offenders.

“Everyone in the community expects people to conform to bylaw, it’s there for a reason,” said Jakubeit. “So if people don’t comply to that, the city doesn’t have much choice but to take them to court. And in Mr. Braun’s case, the city tried on several occasions to reach out and make a difference and find a compromise for him. At the end of the day, going through the court system, which is very expensive, and he had a very minimal fine but to not even do the community service?

“The fines were really symbolic, the community service was for him to acknowledge that he had crossed some lines with bylaw … I guess it’s kind of disappointing and frustrating to find a compromise and a mutually agreed upon consequence and then it not be taken serious so we’re back in the same spot.”

READ ALSO: City releases settlement proposal with Penticton street person

Deputy mayor Julius Bloomfield, who is stepping in while Mayor John Vassilaki is out of town, said he was recently in touch with Braun but ultimately the next steps are out of councils hands.

“I explained to him that the city is doing what the judge ordered both sides to do. And I told him, ‘The trouble is, you failed to show up’ so now we have no option to report that to the court,” said Bloomfield. “I recommended to Mr. Braun to find a possible solution to the predicament and present that to the judge, because the judge is the one who has to be satisifed now, not the city.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Column: When is plant and animal species loss a crisis?

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

BC Care Providers to explore new solutions to care aide shortage in Okanagan

CEO Daniel Fontaine finishes Listening Tour, discusses possible care aide internship in Okanagan

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

It’s time to Ring and Sing, in spring

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble and the Oliver Handbell Ringers present a concert for bells and voices

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Home Hardware to give away free Reusable Shopping Bags in honour of Earth Day

“We feel we have a responsibility to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible”

Most Read