Cornwall mayor avoids payment penalty for re-election campaign email – Cornwall Newswatch

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(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, file)

CORNWALL – A majority of Cornwall City Cornwall has decided not to pay the mayor two weeks salary for sending a re-election campaign email from his municipal email account.

City Council made the decision Monday night after receiving a report from Municipal Integrity Commissioner Tony Fleming.

The report revealed that Glen Grant used a city computer, his city email account, and the mayor’s official signature and city logos to send the email regarding his re-election bid. He also hired a staff member to convert the version to PDF as he didn’t know how to do it.

Tony Fleming said Grant was “very candid” in his investigation and did not dispute the allegations, including that he received “technical assistance” from a city staff member.

All of these actions were violations of the city’s code of conduct as well as the Municipal Elections Act.

Fleming told council there was “nothing to be gained by doubling down” and focused his investigation on the breach of the municipal code of conduct. A violation of the Municipal Elections Act should have gone through the legal system.

Fleming had recommended the mayor issue a public apology for his actions, which he already did on Friday, and also have two weeks’ salary taken away from him. He argued that the monetary penalty would protect the integrity of the code.

But a majority of councilors felt the pay cut was severe, the actions had not been malicious and the mayor was a hard worker.

During the meeting, the con. Claude McIntosh revealed he was the third party who helped the mayor write the re-election press release. But McIntosh said he made it in his spare time and sent it from his home computer to the mayor.

Com. Eric Bergeron and Justin Towndale were the only ones to vote against not sanctioning the mayor.

Bergeron argued that it was not an email sent “inadvertently” and that the mayor should “know more than anyone” about the proper procedure. Bergeron also noted that he will be acting through the Integrity Commissioner for breach of privacy, as the complainant in this investigation has come to light publicly.

Most council members also agreed to simply post the report in the agenda instead of posting it on the city’s website.

You can read the Integrity Commissioner’s report here. (opens a PDF)

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