It was the final meeting for this term of council in Amherstburg Monday, the night starting off with some heartfelt farewells for the five outgoing members of council. Complements were traded across the floor – members praising each other for their years of service on council.

Then things got ugly.

The integrity commissioner, Bruce Elman, was in town at the request of council to deliver a report regarding an alleged breach of confidentiality after an in-camera meeting in September.

Elman points the finger at Coun. Jason Lavigne for allegedly repeating confidential information gleaned at a closed-door meeting regarding the transition of the town’s police force to Windsor Police. According to Elman, the information was passed onto Police Service Board chair Bob Rozankovic, who then reported the leaked information back to Administration.

Neither Rozankovic nor Lavigne would cooperate with integrity commissioner during his investigation, but Elman states he has reason to believe Lavigne is the leak based on “circumstantial information.”

“Although there cannot be complete certainty as the identity of the individual who disclosed the confidential information from the In-Camera Council Meeting due to Coun. Lavigne’s and Mr. Rozankovic’s lack of cooperation and candour, the circumstantial information indicates, on the balance of probabilities, that Coun. Jason Lavigne was the source of the confidential information from the In-Camera Council Meeting,” Elman wrote in his decision.

Elman recommended that Coun. Lavigne should be reprimanded and should have his remuneration suspended for a period of 45 days.

Commissioner Elman also strongly argueed against the next council allowing Rozankovic to seek appointment to any of the Town’s Agencies, Board, Commissions, or Committees for the upcoming term of council.

Council ultimately chose not to levy any penalty against Lavigne, but instead, just receive the report.

Coun. Lavigne, who did not win re-election this October, stands by his actions and says he did nothing wrong.

“I came into this job with the utmost respect for the institution; I’ve held my head high for four years. I’ve never been accused of anything, I’ve never violated anything,” Lavigne said. “And to out in this manner is very unfortunate for the taxpayers of Amherstburg.”

“We saw this years ago, and we got away from it. And here it is, rearing its ugly head again.”

Rozankovic, for his part, was upset that the commissioner made a public judgment regarding his part in the alleged leak.

“Quite honestly, it’s a defamation of character in a public forum. He has no right to investigate me, he has no purview over the police board, and he has no right to make a judgment like he did without even having any positive proof on anything,” Rozankovic said.

“I have referred it to legal advice, and wherever that takes me, it takes me.”

Right after council settled that matter, it moved onto a second integrity commissioner report, this one levelled by Chief Administrator John Miceli against Coun. Diane Pouget.

He argues the veteran councillor of 14 years has been making comments at various meetings, which Miceli believes have impugned the integrity of his character and created a toxic work environment for him and his staff.

In this case, Commissioner Elman recommended an apology letter from Pouget, but council once again elected to forego any formal punishment and simply receive the report.

Miceli says the alleged behaviour exhibited by Pouget and others around the table needed to be held to account and the voters agreed by voting in a new council.

“This toxic environment has to stop if we’re going to move this town forward,” said Miceli after the meeting. “The reality is this community has made a decision they have elected those people that they believe will bring the town forward. And those people are not part of it.”

Councillor Lavigne also offered parting words to the newly elected members of council in the audience.

“Congratulations. You deserve the job and you’re going to do a great job,” he said. “Don’t listen the nonsense, stay off the social media regardless of what people are telling you, because it won’t help you or your family. Just come into these meetings, do the job and represent the people who voted you in. That’s all you can do.”