No progress on code of conduct investigations

by Vance Gutzman

Deep River is having a difficult time finding a man of integrity.

To be more specific, the town is finding it hard to find an integrity commissioner.

As previously reported, the municipality appointed Ottawa lawyer Guy Giorno last September to serve as its integrity commissioner to investigate complaints under town council’s code of conduct.

The appointment was made following three complaints filed by local resident Larry Dumoulin against Councillor Jason McAuley and Mayor Joan Lougheed.

Dumoulin alleges that McAuley has a conflict of interest in matters dealing with the Deep River fire department.

He suggests that McAuley has a conflict both as a member of the Laurentian Hills fire service, and as an employee of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, which is also part of the area’s mutual aid agreement for fire services.

Giorno, however, had to recuse himself from the investigation of Dumoulin’s complaints in November.

Giorno noted at the time that “each complaint relates in part to the relationship between this council member (McAuley) and a company (CNL).”

“After opening the three complaint files and assigning them numbers, I learned that some other lawyers in my firm provide legal services to this company,” Giorno’s report stated.

“I personally do not but, through my colleagues, the law firm in a which I am a partner does.”

Exercising his authority under the Municipal Act, Giorno instead appointed a delegate to deal with the complaints, in the form of Professor Emeritus David Mullan, of Queen’s University in Kingston.

Well, it turns out now that Mullan has also recused himself from investigating Dumoulin’s complaints.

for more on this story, pick up a copy of the February 14 NRT…