Ombudsman clears council members of any violation of Municipal Act
Published Friday, September 19, 2014 4:18PM EDT
Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin’s latest investigation into activities surrounding a possible meeting in the cafeteria at London city hall, concludes that there was no violation of the Municipal Act.
The probe looked at the events leading up to the appointment of Russ Monteith as the new Ward 5 councillor.
Marin’s report, released Friday, says council members who were in the cafeteria on June 24, 2014 did not violate the open meeting provisions of the act.
“Councillors are entitled to socialize,” he wrote.
“They may also engage in individual discussions relating to council business. In this case, the evidence does not support that the various conversations during dinner about the Ward 5 seat rose to the level of a serial meeting, such as occurred in the Nipissing case. Considering the totality of the available evidence, the gathering in the cafeteria did not involve a collective effort on the part of a quorum of council members to address the issue of the Ward 5 vacancy.”
Marin also questioned the necessity of the complaint.
“The circumstances surrounding the filing of complaints with my office about the June 24 dinner gathering raise concerns about the possible motives of the councillors who lodged them,” he wrote.