Akonyu Akolo

Jail time suggested for former Surrey city planner

Both Crown and defence request that Akonyu Akolo serve time for breach of trust.

A former City of Surrey planner is facing jail time for defrauding the city.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday, both Crown and defence lawyers requested jail time for Akonyu Akolo ranging from three to 15 months for breach of trust by a public officer.

Akolo pleaded guilty to the charge in September.

Crown prosecutor Kevin Marks asked the court to sentence Akolo to 15 months of incarceration.

Akolo’s defence lawyer Jennifer Currie asked for three to four months of jail time.

While a sentence of nine to 12 months of community service is an option, she said, the defendant needs to work and provide for his family and the longer sentence would keep Akolo from doing so.

Akolo, who was fired in 2010, was criminally charged in 2011 after a lengthy police investigation.

He originally faced five charges – bribing an agent, corrupt municipal official, breach of trust by a public officer, giving false account to deceive principal, and fraudulent concealment.

Akolo was in charge of area planning and development for South Surrey. He had worked for the city for 17 years.

A developer he approached reported him to the city and to the police on April 2010.

The court heard Akolo offered to take $30,000 for what he called “professional consulting services” from the developer, in exchange for not cashing cheques worth $65,000 of fees to the city.

Currie said Akolo claimed he had forgotten about the cheques and didn’t deposit them after the development was approved because he feared for his job if his mistake was noticed.

During their investigation, police found no criminal wrongdoing on the part of the developer or any other Surrey staffers.

Akolo initially denied all the allegations.

The City of Surrey also has a civil lawsuit against Akolo over missing funds.

In a suit filed in April 2010, the city claimed unnamed developers acted in conspiracy with Akolo to bilk the city out of various development fees. The city also accused Akolo of using the funds he took to purchase his home in North Delta. Those allegations have yet to be proven in court.

The sentencing will continue on Dec. 6.

Just Posted

Surrey moves to ban sleeping overnight in RVs, motorhomes on city streets

Proposal comes amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

South Surrey man allows smart meter installation ‘under duress’

BC Hydro says devices emit fraction of radio frequency from a cellphone

White Rock senior ‘just sick’ about lost rings

Wedding, engagement bands discovered missing on Oct. 7

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Kamloops Blazers blank Vancouver Giants

A loss on the road for G-men

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read