Integrity report recommends pay suspension after Councillor breaches code of conduct
Councillor John Paul Jackson has no regrets even though his pay may be suspended for 90 days.
An Integrity Commissioner’s investigation made the ruling after the first -term councillor was found guilty of violating The Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands Council Code of Conduct. after going public with confidential information involving four senior staff members in July.
“If necessary I would do it again tomorrow.” said Coun. John Paul Jackson.
In July, Jackson went public with confidential information involving four senior staff members who had made 18 separate allegations of harassment against Greg Borduas, the township’s newly hired Chief Administrative Officer.
An investigation commenced, and a lawyer hired by the township conducted determined the complaints were unfounded and malicious. Further recommending firing all four complainants, after debate behind closed doors two of the staffers, the Treasurer and the Director of Public Works were fired. The other two, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk were suspended without pay.
In a letter sent to CKWS from a lawyer representing Borduas, the CAO called the complaints made about him false.
Still, the move doesn’t sit well with the councillor who has led a crusade to get the employees reinstated, unhappy with the process that took place which he believed was flawed.
“I recognize and I appreciate our code of conduct and the importance of confidentiality but there are times when there are going to be clashes between your ethics and your values and those policies.” explained Jackson.
That clash comes with a five-thousand-dollar price tag, 90 days pay.
In a four-page report, as part of the Integrity Commissioner Investigation, lawyer Amberley Gavel said:
“It is not necessary to cite the specific evidence other than to say multiple media reports and social media posts by Councillor Jackson made it clear that confidentiality had been breached by Councillor Jackson.”
Mayor Joe Baptista declined a request for an interview, explaining that he didn’t want to prematurely comment about the report ahead of tonight’s council meeting.
The report will be debated this evening, councillors will decide whether to follow the recommendation to suspend pay or alter it. Jackson can remain on council and has the ability to continue to participate in votes and debates. He just won’t be getting paid while doing it.
“I stand by the decision I’ve made,” said Coun. Jackson.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.