Retiring Kelowna-Lake Country MLA and deputy speaker John Weisbeck is calling on Liberal president Mickey Patryluk to resign, Public Eye has learned. In an email sent to caucus members on Monday, the MLA accuses Ms. Patryluk of abusing her position to influence the outcome of the nomination race in his riding. According to the email, a Kelowna Courier reporter informed Mr. Weisbeck on Friday that Sarina Sandana-Weisbeck, the MLA's ex-wife and one of the nomination candidates, was being accused of using bribery to recruit student supporters. That accusation, which involves an organization called the Urban Youth and Cultural Association, was published by the Courier on Saturday. The reporter told Mr. Weisbeck he had been informed about the whole affair by Ms. Patryluk. Mr. Weisbeck writes that the president should have let his ex-wife know about that accusation before speaking to the press.
The MLA claims Ms. Patryluk didn't because she's bitter about losing a nomination battle to him in 1996. Mr. Weisbeck also accuses her of secretly favoring another candidate. He concludes the email by noting that a national television show is travelling to Kelowna to cover the nomination and calling for Ms. Patryluk's resignation. Three other candidates are running against Ms. Sanda-Weisbeck including city councillor Al Horning, businesswoman Kit Bell (Minister of State for Mining Pat Bell's sister) and community activist Michele Rule.