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.

Just Posted

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Blue Man Group set to rock the Okanagan

The world famous Blue Man Group is bringing their high energy rockn’ show to Penticton for two shows.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

COLUMN: Bunnies, sexuality and the freedom to read

A book about a gay bunny has been the subject of challenges

It’s time to Ring and Sing, in spring

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble and the Oliver Handbell Ringers present a concert for bells and voices

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read