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Rob Vagramov won't seek second term as Port Moody mayor

Port Moody's controversial mayor got off to a rocky start when he was charged with sexual assault just months after he was elected in 2018.
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Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov announces he'll be taking a leave of absence from the position just months after being elected in Nov., 2018, so he can deal with a charge of sexual assault.

Port Moody will have a new mayor in the fall.

Incumbent Rob Vagramov confirms to the Tri-City News he won't be seeking a second term in the upcoming municipal elections — set for Oct. 15, 2022.

Vagramov, who ascended to become the city's top elected official in 2018 after just one term as a councillor, said he's moving on "due to changing priorities" in his life. 

He did not elaborate on his future plans, but says he'll be "providing a proper statement in due time" and will finish his current term in office.

Just 26 years old when he defeated incumbent Mike Clay in 2018, Vagramov was once one of the youngest mayors in Canada.

However, he got off to a rocky start when, just months into his tenure, he was charged with a single account of sexual assault stemming from an incident alleged to have occurred in Coquitlam between April 1 and July 10, 2015.

On March 28, 2019, Vagramov announced he would step away from his positions as mayor and chair of Port Moody's police board while he dealt with his legal issues, but his decision to continue collecting his annual salary of more than $100,000 became an incendiary talking point for months until he decided that June to make his leave unpaid.

In September 2019, Vagramov returned to the mayor's office — even though his charge was not yet resolved.

The resulting furor in council culminated a month later in an emotional and highly-charged meeting when a majority of councillors voted for him to resume his leave of absence.

On Nov. 13, 2019, the charge against Vagramov was stayed after crown counsel and the victim agreed to "alternative measures," and he was back in the mayor's office five days later

But the acrimony on council lingered, sometimes roiling to the surface during testy exchanges with various councillors as they debated contentious issues like the pace of development in the city.

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