Update: Penticton Legion executives suspended

All 12 elected officials suspended by provincial higher-ups, apparently to protect the branch's continued existence

The Penticton Legion is in disarray after its 12-person executive was axed by its provincial masters.

The Penticton Legion is in disarray after its 12-person executive was axed by its provincial masters.

UPDATE: In a press release issued Saturday, BC Yukon Command clarified some of the allegations against Penticton Legion executives that led to them being suspended and the branch being placed in trusteeship.

The release, issued after a special meeting Friday, states “allegations of non-compliance to Legion general bylaws are being investigated.

“In addition the trustees are reviewing potential liquor licensing breaches, financial mismanagement and lotteries inventory control issues.  The Legion takes these allegations seriously and works hard to ensure branches remain solvent and in compliance with liquor and lotteries as well as its own by-laws.”

The release goes on to say that while Legions are run by volunteer members, they are still subject to “many strict regulations in how they operate.” The trustee, it added, will investigate and review the branch’s operations and make recommendations on how it can move forward.

“The Penticton Legion Branch has served the community with distinction for decades.  Through this process of investigation, review and trusteeship, our plan is to ensure the Legion’s presence remains a significant community service.”




All 12 members of the Penticton Legion’s executive have been removed from office for unspecified reasons and threatened with a lawsuit if they speak out publicly.

Deposed Branch 40 president Vittorio Scialdone declined comment Wednesday. Executives were informed of their dismissals in a letter dated May 18, which was signed by B.C./Yukon Command executive director Inga Kruse and obtained by the Western News.

In an interview Wednesday,  Kruse said executives are required to ensure the branch complies with Legion bylaws, liquor licences, lottery contracts and other such obligations, and, “If any of those are seen to be at risk, or are being breached, the bylaws allow us to take over and make sure that the community doesn’t lose its Legion.”

Kruse would not provide specifics of what the local executive is alleged to have, or have not, done, and it’s unclear if regular members will find out at a special meeting Friday night.

“It’s not a court situation where you have to prove anything,” Kruse said. “There’s been enough evidence, according to the president of our organization and administrative officers, that the branch is at risk. And when a branch is at risk, we make sure it doesn’t go down the tubes, and that’s all there is to it.”

The letter to Scialdone ended with a warning to members of the executive that while they’re removed from office, “any inflammatory, incorrect statements or proprietary information released… to the media or in a public forum could put you at risk of a civil liability suit.”

Kruse said that warning was meant to ensure members would hear about the matter from the Legion, rather than the media.

Branch 40 has been placed under the trusteeship of Okanagan Falls member Ed Findlater in the interim and will be handed back to members once its affairs are put in order.

“The purpose of these trusteeships … is about ensuring that one small group of people doesn’t cause the decline of a branch in the community,” Kruse added. “There’s no intent of closing the branch.”

Scialdone assumed leadership of the branch, which has about 900 members, in January. He also served part of a term as president in 2010.

Just Posted

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read