Napanee, Ont. Mayor to issue formal apology after Integrity Commissioner’s second report – Kingston
Napanee council will formally reprimand its mayor following its second integrity commissioner investigation in less than a month.
The recent report written by Laura Dean found that Mayor Marg Isbester had, in one of the two complaints, violated the code of conduct for comments regarding the fire at a Napanee resident’s house and repeated those comments twice during a local fire. room. Isbester did not deny any of these allegations, but said she made the statements jokingly.
Another unidentified complainant claims Isbester threatened them in a dispute over her son, Andrew Isbester. The mayor maintains that she never threatened this complainant.
Reprimand Recommended for Mayor of Napanee in Integrity Commissioner’s Second Report
“I didn’t. I will remain with my belief that I did not make the comment, quoted the number one complainant,” she said in a statement to council. Yet the mayor apologized whether it appeared to be uncivil or hostile.
As for the second complaint, the one for which she was reprimanded, Isbester has already apologized to the complainant, but handed one over to council on Tuesday night.
“I should have done one of the following two things with complaint number two, used different words to encourage him (to) let down my family and the people I work with or just let him go on and accept that this it’s part of my job to accept all statements, ”she said.
Still, Isbester conceded that as mayor she shouldn’t be making such comments.
“These are statements that shouldn’t have been made in any context, in any setting. And to everyone in my role as mayor, to the staff and to the lawyers, I apologize for putting you in this position which can have a bad image and a bad image of the council as a whole. “
The Integrity Commissioner’s report indicated that Isbester believed that this particular complainant may have had political motives to reveal this information and that the person had a contentious relationship with both Isbester and the city.
This is something that was mentioned by Deputy Mayor Max Kaiser, who was the only one to speak directly in favor of the mayor.
Integrity Commission report recommends reprimand for Napanee mayor for breach of code of conduct
“I know who complainant number two is and if you want to have this conversation with this person, it’s up to you. I’m sure you could and have many times before. I’m sure complainant number two didn’t really care what words were used for them, ”Kaiser said.
But, he said his repeat of the comment later at the fire station is what “got him in trouble.”
Still, he said he hoped that was not all that was remembered about his long legacy on council as councilor and mayor.
“No one can touch the time you spend on counseling,” Kaiser said.
But his comments were in the minority around the horseshoe, with several members expressing strong disapproval of the mayor’s actions as described in the report.
Some, like Ward 4 Coun. Jeff Norrie, asked Isbester to resign.
“I know it’s not a positive thing to say, but I’m going to ask you to do the honorable thing and step down as mayor so that we can continue to move forward as positive and respected members of this council in this city, ”he said. .
The integrity commissioner’s second report surprised some council members, such as the city councilor. Dave Pinnell, who said he only learned about the most recent investigation by reading the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
Mayor of Napanee in hot water
He noted that overall he felt that Isbester had done a good job as mayor, but that his actions as described in the report gave the town and councilors a bad reputation.
“I think these actions embarrassed the Grand Nappanee staff company, the residents and us as advisers,” Pinnell said.
During questioning of the Integrity Commissioner, Ward 2 Coun. John McCormack asked if any other complaints were being investigated by the Commissioner, to which she and Isbester both replied no. McCormack said if more was revealed it would be difficult for him to continue supporting Isbester as mayor.
“If more stuff goes down the pipe or that’s going to be a problem,” he said.
Napanee, Ont. the mayor responds to the integrity commissioner’s report
In the end, only Norrie voted against the council motion to reprimand the mayor.
She will be forced to write a formal apology to the first complainant, to staff members who witnessed the “threatening behavior” and to the community at large. She will also be forced to take counseling to deal with what the board called threatening behavior. He will also be reminded to follow the city’s social media policy. Support will be offered to complainants and to those who witnessed Isbester’s behavior.
The mayor told council she would accept any reprimand. She has yet to respond to a request from Global News for further comment.
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