Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Councillor MacEachern Instigates 2 Integrity Complaints

Posted by auroracitizen on June 4, 2010

By Sean Pearce — Jun 04, 2010 – 2:26 PM

Integrity commish reviewing new complaints

Here we go again.

Aurora integrity commissioner David Tsubouchi is working on two formal complaints under the town’s code of conduct, both of which were filed by Councillor Evelina MacEachern, The Banner has learned.

At first, Ms MacEachern would only say the complaints originated from a member of council, but, when pressed, conceded she had filed a pair of formal complaints and expects a decision on them from Mr. Tsubouchi “any day now”.

“I have filed two formal complaints,” she said. “I don’t want to say what they’re about or who they’re against.”

Councillor Evelyn Buck, who was the subject of the first formal code complaint lodged by six members of council last year, wouldn’t confirm if the two new complaints were against her. It wouldn’t be appropriate to do so, she said.

“I will neither confirm nor deny that the two complaints are against me,” she said.

“I would not want to give them any ammunition, because one of the things they said last year was that I had breached the confidentiality of the process before they did by publishing my response to their (informal complaint) letter.”

If the two new complaints are against Ms Buck, this will mark the second time she has been targetted by one or more of her council colleagues through such a mechanism.

Last July, Ms MacEachern along with Councillors Stephen Granger, Al Wilson, John Gallo and Wendy Gaertner and Mayor Phyllis Morris, voted to file a formal complaint with the town’s first integrity commissioner, David Nitkin. Mr. Nitkin, whose contract had only been finalized in June, returned his ruling Aug. 5 and was fired the next day.

A month later, his report was publicized, at which point it was revealed he had ruled the complaint, as submitted, was “ill-formed”, “incomplete” and “inappropriate” and, as a result, could be seen as “wholly political” in nature.

A freedom of information request filed by The Banner last fall revealed Mr. Nitkin was paid more than $28,000 during his time with the town.

Shortly after the release of Mr. Nitkin’s ruling, Ms Buck launched a libel lawsuit against the six members of council who filed the complaint against her and The Banner relating to a town-sponsored advertisement that ran in the paper.

The town’s code of conduct doesn’t lay out a specific timeframe for a response on any complaints, town clerk John Leach said, but noted he has no reason to suspect Mr. Tsubouchi isn’t working as quickly as possible to return a ruling.

When a decision on one or both complaints is received, the complainant and councillor complained about will be notified and a report will be placed on the next council agenda, he said.

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17 Responses to “Councillor MacEachern Instigates 2 Integrity Complaints”

  1. Anonymous said

    Time for a new post.
    We haven’t heard from Elizabeth Bishendon lately. She was a good guest moderator.

  2. Matt Maddocks said

    Thanks for all the info. I sent an email to Evelina asking her what was wrong with her, why she was wasting my taxpayer money on what I’m certain is a personal vendetta, and asked her to stop.

    Reminding her that she was elected to serve the best interests of the people and the town of Aurora, I asked her what this latest move had to do with either?

    She responded: “Thank you for taking the time to share your views”. That was it.

    Pure politician. What a loser.

    So, it’s game on. If there’s a group that wants my contribution, to jam it to her and the MorMac regime, I’m in. I’m not savvy enough to know the ins and outs of the process, but it would seem to make sense that we’d be stronger as a group presenting our position, rather than one-on-one combat. After all, they have their group, so we should prepare ours.

    • Richard Johnson said

      The most important thing that you can do is to become as informed as possible, share your views with friends, write letters to the editor and to attend the all candidates meetings during the election in order to ask very short and pointed questions that expose the truth as best as possible. If you should pick a candidate for Mayor or council they always need help during the elction.

      The main key is to watch council in the run up to the election and share your views.

      You are right to be wary of the process. Not all is what it initially appears, especially when you consider the MorMac version of events.

    • It's 'Pure' Something said

      So, she didn’t even try to justify her actions in response to a concerned resident’s complaint?! That may make her a “(p)ure politician” (as you say), but it sure doesn’t make her a very smart one. She could just as well have given you a ‘STFU’ – same result.

    • Anne Scott said

      Matt, I am surprised you received any response. I am still awaiting a response to an email I sent to all of council on Jan 26. The only councillors who responded were Buck, Collins-Mrakas and McRoberts. The three with integrity.

    • White Knight said

      At least you got a “Thank you.” All I have ever received from her are sarcastic, caustic snipes.

  3. White Knight said

    To Matt
    I believe the answer to your question is “yes”. I had asked the very same question myself awhile back.
    I aM not surprised that Ms. Evilina is stirring it up again. It is what she does!
    How about a resident group complaint about her? Anyone interested? I think there is plenty of evidence on tape over the last few years to substantiate a legitimate complaint about her, plus the countless obnoxious emails that she sends out to taxpayers who dare to question her! Is this what we want representing us on council?
    I guess we will now see what David Tsubouchi is made of>

  4. evelyn.buck said

    Number 4 was a response to Number 6 question.

  5. crapped upon too often said

    If these two complaints are by nature similar to that which has resulted in one councillor suing the mayor and five councillors, matter still pending, the complainant better be prepared for a class action suit against herself for wasting both the time of council and the money of taxpayers, for flagrant abuse of office, for use of vile language unbecoming a councillor and for moral corruption. If time is to be considered of the essence, a complaint might rather be filed with the Information and Privacy Commissioner for the above, and any other charges that might be suggested by readers, under the Municipal Act.

    And Mr. Tsubouchi had better ensure that he has done his due diligence homework with regard to Aurora council’s gross and consistent dysfunction and its constant failure to conduct its own affairs in accordance with its procedural By-law. He does, after all, have his predecessor’s experience and ruling to examine. If he gets it wrong, he might find himself the subject of a complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

    I have never understood that any person with the necessary experience and a good reputation would ever have stooped so low as to accept the position of Integrity Commissioner for the town of Aurora. But then there is the matter of the “up to $60,000” that is available to pay this job.

  6. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    Matt,

    Yes, a citizen can file a code of conduct complaint against any member of council at any time.

    There is both an Informal and Formal Complaint Procedure, you can read more about it on the town website here:
    http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?ArticleID=56&lang=en-CA

    unlike filing an F.O.I. there is no fee to do so, which I am somewhat surprised.

    There was another post here previously that discussed the differences between filing an official complaint in writing with an affidavit vs. just a “question or concern”

    https://auroracitizen.ca/2009/07/04/whats-up-with-integrity/

    I’d love to know how many formal complaints were filed with both the previous commissioner as well as are pending with the current one, but expect to get this information it would require an F.O.I.

    I’m surprised that a code of conduct complaint was not recently filed against Chris Ballard given his most obvious violation in speaking in opposition against councilors. Maybe one has.

    I’d be very surprised to find that there we absolutely no complaints against Evilina and the Mayor given both their words and actions, especially over the last 2 years.

    Everyone recognizes that they operate without any decorum and their understanding of “conduct” is deplorable.

    Perhaps if we started filing formal complaints it would help to even out this mechanism which is being used by MorMac in a very one sided way.

    One wonders how they would respond if their actions were held under the scrutiny of their precious code of conduct.

    • crapped upon too often said

      Under “Complaint Procedure” for Code of Conduct, last item – number 8, “Annual Report.”

      “The Integrity Commissioner shall report annually to Council on complaints affecting the Council of the Town of Aurora or its Committees, filed with the Integrity Commissioner.”

      Presumably, because the Integrity Commissioner was ‘in transit’ during the summer of last year, there might have been no annual report. Or was there, an interim one?

      If such annual report were to be submitted – for this year it might be doubtful with the election – would this report be available to the public, or are we into secret documents once again, in camera so to speak?

  7. Robert the Bruce said

    I filed a Code of Conduct complaint last year before Mr. Nitkin was dismissed. I received an email from him saying that the comlpaint had been received and will be processed. I was under the impression that the complaint would be reviewed once a new IC was hired. Is that not the case? I have not had anything from the new IC.

    Fuimus

  8. evelyn.buck said

    Yes

  9. Knock Me Over With A Feather said

    Speaking of here we go again, I see that the just-announced Citizen of the Year is yet another friend of the mayor. Surprise, surprise…

    • Anonymous said

      Yes and word on the street is David Herd was nominated twice but a panel member had to abstain because Mr.Herd works for him.

      It has come to light by asking at the Farmers Market,that David is a “volunteer” writer at the local newspaper.

      So why did the committee member not have a vote?

      I guess Mr.Herd can receive a Regional award but does not have a Snowballs chance in his own Town.

  10. Matt Maddocks said

    Can anyone tell me; can a private citizen of Aurora file a code of conduct complaint against an Aurora councillor?

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