Integrity commissioner finds former councillor acted inappropriately
Chatham Kent municipal offices (CTV Windsor/July 2018)
Published Friday, April 12, 2019 8:20PM EDT
The integrity commissioner in Chatham-Kent has found a former councillor tried to use his authority to influence a municipal staff worker.
Integrity commissioner Paul Watson began his investigation in November following a complaint about Derek Robertson, who was a council member at the time.
Watson concluded Robertson misused his authority to help a business owner resolve a dispute with the building authority, regarding a building permit application, violating Section 14 of the Code of Conduct.
In Watson’s report dated April 10, Watson said implicit threats were made which could have led to the termination of the municipality’s chief building official.
Watson wrote the CBO has the authority to act independently from council. Robertson had argued the CBO did not have the authority to revoke a building permit.
Watson’s report states the councillor's actions “did not respect the distinct and specialized roles expected of Municipal staff in both the carrying out of their responsibilities and in dealing with council.”
In March, Robertson alleged he was being treated unfairly by Watson, who also is a former councillor before he became integrity commissioner in 2016.
Robertson claimed a draft report of the investigation was sent to his lawyer in January before he was interviewed in March.
Robertson told CTV Windsor former mayor Randy Hope filed the complaint after his election defeat in October. Hope has not returned calls by CTV News to comment on the allegation.
Watson has ruled sanctions against Robertson are now pointless since he is no longer a councillor.