- Controversy is swirling in Houston as a nude photographs
of Mayor Sharon Smith are popping up on computers throughout the community
- The photographs were taken by her husband in the mayor's
office in Town Hall. They show Smith and the mayor's "ceremonial chain
- The pictures were taken from Smith's home computer and
the mayor says the theft is currently being investigated by the Houston,
- Houston RCMP Sgt. Dave Fenson says the matter is under
investigation and is"progressing well."
- Sgt. Fenson says there are a couple of suspects, and
he expects the matter will be resolved in several weeks. He also adds that
the theft was not a break and enter.
- Smith is miffed her personal photographs were stolen
and then distributed through email. However, she is not apologizing for
posing in the nude.
- In a letter to Houston Today (see page 5), Smith states:
"The personal property is private pictures of myself, which were for
my husband and myself only and not for anyone else's benefit or for public
- However, former Houston councilor Nipper Kettle thinks
Mayor Smith has shown disrespect to her office and should step down until
the issue is cleared up.
- He first heard about the photographs when he received
a letter. Nov.. 21, stating the images were circulating in the community.
Since then, he has received an email showing one of the pictures; it came
- Kettle says he doesn't care about the mayor posing nude
for her husband as that is "their personal business."
- However, he is displeased Smith posed with the "chain
of office" around her neck and the photos were taken in the mayor's
- "That chain is something the mayor should be wearing
when she is doing official municipal business," Kettle says, adding
he also feels it was wrong to take the pictures in the mayor's office.
- "In my opinion, it shows total disrespect for the
people she represents and the office she holds, It's kind of like slapping
all of the voters in the face."
- Mayor Smith disagrees.
- "It was a private photo for my husband, taken by
my husband, and there was no disgrace or anything to with the position
of mayor. In actuality, it was a proud moment for my husband and that's
what it was considered and there is no degradation or anything else."
- Even if there is a outcry from the community, Smith says
she is not stepping down.
- "There is nothing wrong with what I have done. It
is not immoral; it is not unethical; it is not illegal; and it has nothing
to do with my position of mayor and capability of being leader of this
- "The voters voted loudly and clearly for me and,
because there are a few individuals who have opposed my position, that's
- Smith says she has had a lot of support from people in
the community and has been told to hold her head high. "Those who
are against me will always be against me."
- The mayor adds council has been supportive.
- When contacted, some councilors chose not to comment.
- Noting the pictures were a private matter between the
mayor and her husband and the photos were stolen from their home, Coun.
Nick Powell says he feels sorry about what has happened to Smith.
- "What people do in their own private lives is that
- it's private. It's unfortunate that it's got out this was and I'm sure
in hindsight people, and the mayor herself, would think things should have
been done differently but you just don't expect these sort of things to
be taken from you and used in a not very respectful manner."
- Coun. Bonny Hawley says she didn't think she would have
to, and doesn't want to deal with this issue.
- "I didn't think this would be part of my municipal
experience. I just want to do the business of the people and this is not
the kind of think I want to think about."
- First published 12-3-3
- Statement From Houston Mayor Sharon Smith
- Letters to the editor
- Houston Today Newspaper
- Wednesday December 3, 2003
- It has come to my attention that personal property belonging
to my husband and myself has been stolen from out home and is currently
being circulated around the community.
- The personal property is private pictures of myself,
where were for my husband and myself ONLY and not for anyone else's benefit
or for public distribution.
- They were taken from our home without permission and
we are being widely circulated.
- This is not only an invasion of our privacy, but is also
a criminal offense, which is being investigated by the Houston RCMP.
- While I appreciate the words of support and encouragement
that I have received from many members of the community. I am disheartened
and hurt by those few who seem to be taking the pleasure and enjoyment
from this situation.
- These photographs have been stolen from our home and
I consider this a matter of theft in the same way i would consider the
theft of jewelry of anything else. I am very disappointed that circulation
of these stolen pictures seems to be acceptable and tolerated by some.
- My privacy has been violated in every sense. These photos
are private property belonging to my husband and me. I am very hurt and
- Our community is known for its tolerance, decency and
respect for the law. I have served our community for a number of years
as a volunteer, a Councillor and currently as your Mayor. I consider it
a privilege to serve as your Mayor, and have worked hard, and will continue
to work hard for our community.
- I have never expected anything in return from our community
during my community service, but i am asking now for your respect, support
- I respectfully request that anyone knowing who is responsible
for this theft to forward any information they have to the RCMP.
- I would also like to remind people that knowingly being
in possession of stolen property is a criminal offense.
- Finally, I ask that anyone who may have a copy or copies
of any photos of me in print, on CD, or on their computer to delete, destroy
or deliver them to the RCMP.
- Thank you,
- Sharon Smith