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Police to investigate leak of Olympic Village loan details

What was a leak is now an alleged theft, with the Vancouver Police Department now getting involved in the city's ongoing $100-million bailout saga.

The VPD today confirmed it will conduct an investigation into an Oct. 14 meeting in which city council reportedly authorized a $100-million loan to the developers of the city's Olympic Village.

"The Vancouver Police have been asked to investigate the alleged theft of documents from an October 14th meeting at Vancouver city hall," VPD Const. Tim Fanning wrote in a short news release today.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan said he asked VPD Chief Const. Jim Chu to investigate “the internal theft of an important classified document.”

“I’m quite concerned that this document may have been leaked to try to affect the election,” Sullivan said."

On Monday, NPA Coun. and mayoral candidate Peter Ladner confirmed his copy of a sensitive city document had been found on the desk of his colleague, Coun. B.C. Lee, two days after the in-camera meeting.

That document is believed to be a source of a story in The Globe and Mail that alleged council had authorized the $100-million loan, which is still unconfirmed by the city.

"B.C. Lee and I have been set up," Ladner said Monday.

All those involved in in-camera meetings, including the mayor, city councillors and senior city staff, are expected to keep discussions private.

Instead, some details were leaked to Globe columnist Gary Mason, who wrote an anonymously-sourced story that, with just days to go before the Nov. 15 election, has overshadowed the campaign.

The NPA's Ladner, as chair of the city's finance committee, appears to have taken the most punches after the controversy emerged. The NPA-led council has refused calls to publicize details of the meeting.

On the other hand, opposition party Vision Vancouver appears to have benefited most from the story by calling for full public disclosure of the meeting, although the decision made at the Oct. 14 meeting was unanimous and Vision Coun. Raymond Louie sits as the vice-chair on the finance committee.

However, former Vision/COPE mayor Larry Campbell and former NPA mayor Philip Owen have both defended the decision being made behind closed doors.

"[The public thinks] it's been a secret deal. And it's not," Owen told The Tuesday. "It's a standard process when you are dealing with property in the Property Endowment Fund."

Said Campbell, "If I was mayor, I'd be asking for a criminal investigation" into who leaked the document to the press.

Irwin Loy reports for Vancouver's 24 hours.

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