Chamber boss distances self from old charges
The new executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce says he was “totally, totally exonerated” of criminal charges that nonetheless prompted one board member to resign after his hiring.
David Hull started work in Summerland in September after four years with the chamber in Cranbrook.
Prior to that, he worked as a consultant after resigning in 2011 from the Abbotsford chamber under a cloud of legal difficulties that resulted in him being suspended him without pay.
According to the Abbotsford News, Hull was first arrested in May 2011 for allegedly assaulting a woman. In June of that year, he was charged with criminal harassment, and by September had been hit with two more charges of breaching his release conditions.
He was later acquitted at trial of the assault charge, according to the News.
Hull says all the other charges were later dropped.
“It was all tied together. My exoneration is complete and absolute,” he said in an interview Thursday.
(The Herald was unable to verify his assertion through court records because the breaches and criminal harassment files are covered by publication bans, and both the B.C. Prosecution Service and Abbotsford Police Department said freedom of information requests would be required to even consider commenting on the files. Hull declined to provide the Herald with copies of court transcripts he said prove his innocence.)
Hull, who served on Terrace city council for 12 years before arriving in Abbotsford, maintains he was set up.
“I was falsely accused of a crime and totally, totally exonerated by the courts. It was a terrible time in my life. It ruined my personal life, it ruined my professional career at the time, and it’s taken many, many years to recover,” he said.
“It’s in my past. I’ve never harmed anyone in my life — short of on the rugby field — and my record of chamber work and my record as a businessman and on city council certainly stand for themselves.”
Even still, Hull’s legal dealings raised enough concern for Christine Gray to resign her position on the Summerland chamber board after Hull’s hiring.
“It wasn’t in protest, it was a personal decision,” she said in an interview.
“The optics in the community concern me.”
Chamber president Nick Ibuki said he was on the hiring committee and could only speak to his own decision on offering Hull the position.
“We had a number of great candidates but David really stood out based on his extensive chamber history, background as a previous city councillor along with the numerous projects he had the opportunity to work on in the different communities he has lived in,” Ibuki said in an email.
“David was exonerated and I believe that anyone who spends time with him will quickly come to the conclusion that he will bring positive change to the organization.”
Wesley Rogers, president of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, declined comment about Hull’s performance there and his reception in that community.
“We wish Mr. Hull and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce success with their new relationship,” Rogers wrote in an email.
David Hull is the new executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.