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)

South Okanagan 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDCO to issue open burning permits for eligible property owners

Permits will be issued to those who qualify and meet the requirements of local fire protection bylaws

BC NDP nominate Spring Hawes as Kelowna West candidate

Hawes will be running against Ben Stewart the incumbent BC Liberal

BC Libertarian Party announces Kelowna-Lake Country candidate

After representing the party in the 2018 by-election, Kyle Geronazzo is again on the ballet

Kelowna council debates mixed-use development proposal in Pandosy area

‘This to me is what will enhance the livability and the coolness factor of South Pandosy’ - Mayor Colin Basran

Morning Start: Canada Has a Completely Indoor Town

Your morning start for Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Fire at North Okanagan pellet plant

Smoke fills valley as crews respond

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Hiker stumbles upon dead man in Blind Bay park

Salmon Arm RCMP determine cause of death not suspicious

BC VOTES 2020: North Okanagan nurse running for NDP

Harwinder Sandhu, who ran for NDP in 2019 federal vote, is declared Vernon-Monashee candidate

Most Read