Res­i­dent al­leges ha­rass­ment by Cen­tral El­gin coun­cil­lors

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LOCAL NEWS - LAURA BROADLEY

Com­plaints about a por­ta­ble toi­let re­sulted in al­le­ga­tions of ha­rass­ment by Cen­tral El­gin coun­cil­lors.

A res­i­dent of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity went to a coun­cil meet­ing at the end of June to com­plain about por­ta­ble toi­lets. While there the res­i­dent al­leged that two coun­cil­lors vi­o­lated the coun­cil code of con­duct by ha­rass­ing them.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s in­tegrity com­mis­sioner John G. Mad­dox sent a re­port to coun­cil af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing the com­plaints that ex­on­er­ated the two un­named coun­cil­lors.

The res­i­dent filed a com­plaint un­der the code of con­duct at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust that al­leged the coun­cil­lors vi­o­lated it un­der two sec­tions, Avoid­ance of Waste and Hu­man Rights and Ha­rass­ment. In the com­plaint they said that the coun­cil­lors made “un­wel­come” com­ments af­ter they were done pre­sent­ing to coun­cil.

Mad­dox found that coun­cil did not vi­o­late Avoid­ance of Waste sec­tion un­der the code of con­duct re­lat­ing to the mat­ter and that no ev­i­dence was found to sug­gest that coun­cil demon­strated waste­ful be­hav­iour.

I think code of con­duct is very im­por­tant, that’s why we have it in place.” Cen­tral El­gin Mayor David Marr

Mad­dox also found the coun­cil­lors did not vi­o­late the Hu­man Rights and Ha­rass­ment sec­tion that states, “To treat every per­son with dig­nity, un­der­stand­ing and re­spect.”

In his re­port Mad­dox wrote that while the sit­u­a­tion doesn’t tech­ni­cally vi­o­late the code of con­duct, the be­hav­iour of the coun­cil­lors was un­ac­cept­able and an apol­ogy should be in or­der.

Cen­tral El­gin Mayor David Marr wouldn’t comment on whether he thought the coun­cil­lors should apol­o­gize.

Marr said the code of con­duct is there for a rea­son.

“I think code of con­duct is very im­por­tant, that’s why we have it in place. The coun­cil­lors are aware of the code of con­duct. There was a com­plaint, it was ad­dressed by the in­tegrity com­mis­sioner and so it shows that it does work,” Marr said.

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