Essex councillor is docked pay
An Essex councillor -- known for his involvement in some heated, sometimes angry debates at town council -- has been reprimanded.
Council on Monday approved an Integrity Commissioner's recommendation to suspend Randy Voakes pay for one month, for violating the professional code of conduct.
Robert Swayze investigated numerous complaints involving Voakes and concluded the longtime councillor crossed the line.
Swayze’s report outlined inappropriate treatment of fellow council members by Voakes, with the use of profanity and bullying.
Swayze says Voakes needs to conduct himself in a more professional manner.
But Voakes defends his actions, suggesting he did nothing wrong and he was working in the best interest of his constituents.
Essex Mayor Ron McDermott says Voakes punishment was “a slap on the wrist”, and he is concerned the situation will only get worse.
For his part, Voakes says he is not going to change.
Voakes will be docked one month’s pay, about $1,600, and it will be donated to charity.
Voakes is voluntarily giving up a second month's pay that will also be donated to charity.