Jake Skinner. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.)

TVDSB committee investigation into Jake Skinner begins

A probe of a complaint filed against Thames Valley District School Board trustee Jake Skinner has begun.

The Thames Valley District School Board announced Wednesday that a committee made up of Chair Arlene Morell and trustees Bill McKinnon and Bruce Smith will examine the complaint and whether Skinner breached the Board’s Code of Conduct.

The complaint was filed June 11 by fellow trustee Corinne Rahman. At the time, she said it was important for the Board to look into the matter in the wake of Skinner’s PR firm, Blackridge Strategy, being linked to websites that aimed to smear two municipal candidates during last fall’s election.

“In my opinion, in submitting a formal complaint, I have followed our procedure to request an inquiry into the actions of Trustee Skinner. It is important to me, to stand up for what I believe in and set a good example for students,” Rahman said in a statement that was released the day after she filed the complaint.

The inquiry committee will conduct its examination in a strictly confidential and private manner, preventing trustees from commenting publicly on the matter, according to a statement issued by the TVDSB on Wednesday.

“I sincerely appreciate the understanding of parents, guardians, staff and others as we follow this formal process designed to protect the integrity of the Board and the community’s confidence in public education,” said Chair Morell.

All of the information that is gathered by the committee will be shared with Skinner, who will then have up to 30 days to provide a response. According to the board, once the committee reviews all of the evidence, it will give to the board a confidential report on whether Skinner breached the Code of Conduct and what sanctions, if any, will be recommended.