Sanctions stick for nowFebruary 11, 2019 9:00pm
Sarnia council has decided to err on the side of caution before voting on motions to lift sanctions imposed on Sarnia’s mayor in 2016.
Acting on councillor Terry Burrell’s request, the motions will be referred to an outside legal firm and the city’s joint health and safety committee for review first.
Burrell said it’s important to know what will happen if the sanctions are lifted.
“We need a legal opinion on that to find out what liability the city may have, individual councillors may have, the staff may have… we just need more information than we have at the present time,” said Burrell.
Burrell said while no time frame has been placed on the request, he doesn’t think it would take longer than a month.
“Once we get an opinion from the lawyers and from the health and safety committee, we will be able to make a better decision on how we can best move forward for the city,” he said.
Councillor Bill Dennis was surprised the motion he drafted, and a similar motion from councillor Dave Boushy, weren’t approved right away.
“The councillors got my motion the minute I hit send, which was on Monday [February 4], if they wanted to do their due diligence they would have contacted lawyers and got legal opinions,” said Dennis. “This is just a stall tactic, this is a cowards way out.”
Dennis said he compiled his motion after mayor Mike Bradley and the rest of council completed harassment and respectful workplace training.
“He’s done everything that he was told he had to do,” Dennis adds.
The sanctions against Mike Bradley were in response to a workplace investigation report that found that he bullied and harassed four senior staff members, including former CAO Margaret Misek-Evans.
The actions included building a wall between his office and staff, appointing an intermediary for communication with employees and limiting his city hall access after hours.