Town Solicitor Demands Removal of Blog Comments
Posted by auroracitizen on April 25, 2010
Under the post A Monument to the Leadership of Mayor Phyllis Morris, we posted that one of the positions that had departed was the Communications Officer — based on a comment by Richard Johnston.
Subsequently we received notice of a Private and Confidential Registered letter (via Bill Hogg, who kindly shared this with the Aurora Citizen team) from Christopher Cooper, Director of Legal Services/Town Solicitor.
In that letter Mr Cooper states;
“Pleased be advised that the Town considers the comments in respect of the Town’s “Communications Officer” in the aforementioned postings to be false, misleading, unsubstantiated, without any factual foundation whatsoever, potentially defamatory and potentially damaging to the personal and professional reputation of the individual, currently in the Town’s employ, about whom the comments are made, despite the fact that the individual is not referred by name.”
This was followed by the demand to remove all comments from the blog because they are potentially libellous and damaging – with the instruction to “govern yourself accordingly”.
So here are the facts we have uncovered.
- The Communications Officer has not left. In fact there never was a Communications Officer at the town. This was an erro on our part.
- There was a “Communications and Marketing Manager” who has the primary media contact for all town media for the past 8 years — as noted on any Press Release available on the Town website until March 2010
- The town has created a new position — Manager of Communications — based on a newly created job description that includes requirements that the long serving employee did not have. We are unable to confirm which of those requirements that the new employee has.
- Both the old and new positions are Managers.
- The long serving “Communications and Marketing Manager” was required to apply for the opportunity to continue to do the job they had been doing — successfully it would appear — for 8 years. Not surprising, they did not receive a job offer.
- Significant responsibilities of the “Communications and Marketing Manager” were transferred to the new position.
- Since the media release of March 8, 2010, the old position is no longer is listed as the media contact for Aurora — that is now the new Manager of Communications.
- We undersatnd that the 2 people who reported to the Communications and Marketing Manager are now reporting to the new Manager of Communications. The old position no longer reports directly to the CAO.
- The Communications and Marketing Manager returned from a vacation to find their belongs and office materials dumped into the renovated councillors office space – their old office now occupied by the new “Manager of Communications”
So Mr Cooper, knowing that you are a reader, in response to your demand that we “respond in writing to the undersigned by no later than 5:00 pm on Monday April 26th, 2010′, please be assured that we have removed the offending reference.
And knowing that people at the town offices do read the blog — at least Mr Cooper does (although we know that Mayor Morris claims not to read it personally ) – we invite you to provide any additional facts to provide balance as Councillor MacEachern has asked for.
Per your request, we have governed ourselves accordingly and provided the full range of facts as they are known.
We apologize to our readers for the mis-information. Because we provided this mis-information, we have done some additional research and have provided the facts as we have read them in the public domain.
We will leave it to the citizens of Aurora to draw their own conclusions about the manner in which this staff member of the Town has been treated.
In summary, the Communications and Marketing Manager did not leave — but possibly the conduct and treatment by the town sheds some light on why so many have.