Councillor’s resignation: Brampton ‘vindicated’ by report

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Tory said Burlington’s concerns about the Brampton report should be taken seriously.

The mayor of Brampton, Ont., says his city has been “vindicated” by a report into Councillor Ann Marie Luongo’s inappropriate use of a city-owned computer.

Maurice Fitch, the council’s facilitator, released a report on Monday, saying he found no evidence of a misappropriation of any funds or tampering with files.

Ms Luongo said she was “very pleased” with the report, which she said found there was no misappropriation of city resources.

But Burlington Councillor Mark Burgwin, who oversaw the investigation, told the BBC the report was inadequate and its findings were “extremely disappointing”.

“Despite finding absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing, we found serious breaches of the code of conduct by Councillor Luongo,” he said.

“Ms Luongo can attest that we followed all the evidentiary procedures in the book. We had excellent witnesses and we just didn’t find that there was anything wrong, but it is disappointing to see this report so biased.”

Image copyright Heresford Image caption William Crosbie, Chair of the Mayor’s Executive Committee (MEC), called the findings “very disappointing”

Mr Fitch wrote in his report that city officials who took part in the probe “are deeply disappointed by the result”, saying Mr Burgwin used “inappropriate language” when describing what happened.

Councillor Burgwin, however, said this allegation was untrue and is now calling for the privacy of council employees to be protected from discrimination.

“The Mayor and MEC Members need to understand that the confidentiality and the privacy of employees is something that should be protected,” he said.

But Ms Luongo said it was ridiculous to ask for privacy, as public records are open to anyone.

“I’ve been discussing this report with numerous concerned citizens in my community since very soon after it was brought to my attention,” she told the CBC.

“The only people that I care about right now are the citizens of Brampton.”

Mr Fitch was appointed to oversee an independent investigation in September.

More than two months later, he said, there was no evidence of wrongdoing beyond an ethical breach.

Public records – including minutes, emails and expense reports – were subpoenaed from the city and none of them provided the basis for making allegations of wrongdoing.

The facilitator also said he found no evidence of an illicit relationship with city staff, which prompted him to call on the Burlington CAO and Mayor to resign.

He added that the investigations of the city’s councillors “should be extended in a pro-active manner to other jurisdictions and corporate executives when potential breaches of statutory and ethical policy arise”.

Ms Luongo, however, said her “apprehension has turned to anger” that her suspension might not be lifted.

Leave a Comment