Integrity Commissioner Rules On Social Media Complaint Against Windsor’s Mayor

A photo of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens twitter page taken from a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner, May 9 2018. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Windsor’s Integrity Commissioner, Bruce Elman considers the case closed, but the resident who made a complaint against Mayor Drew Dilkens is not so sure.

Jon Liedtke filed the complaint in May, alleging Dilkens violated his right to participate in public discourse when he blocked him on social media two years previously.

Liedtke says he checked his Twitter on Saturday, Social Media Day, and noted that the mayor had unblocked him, so he commented.

“I put up a tweet saying, ‘oh look, the mayor has unblocked me!'” says Liedtke, who is also co-owner of Higher Limits, a cannabis lounge in downtown Windsor. “Within an hour and a half of putting up that tweet, I received a response from the integrity┬ácommissioner.”

Windsor's Integrity Commissioner Bruce Elman, January 18, 2016 (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Windsor’s Integrity Commissioner Bruce Elman, January 18, 2016 (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A letter to Liedtke from Bruce Elman reads, “I have been informed by the mayor that you have been unblocked from his Twitter. I view this as an appropriate informal settlement of your complaint. I will, therefore, be closing this file.”

However, Liedtke is not entirely satisfied.

“I don’t believe this to be a final outcome. To me, an informal resolution doesn’t solve the matter. This wasn’t about Drew Dilkens, this was about whether elected officials have the right to block their constituents,” says Liedtke who is awaiting a response from Elman.

The letter from Elman continues to say, “As a general rule, members of council should not block or unfriend members of the public from social media platforms. However, I noted in the bulletin that there is no provision in the Code of Conduct which deals directly with blocking or unfriending on social media… I make no finding in this case.”

Back in May, Liedtke said he delayed making the complaint because he feared it would be frivolous, and only made the filing after comments made by council members in the case of a complaint against Councillor Rino Bortolin.