County warden at fault in report

by Vance Gutzman

Deep River isn’t the only municipality dealing with code of conduct complaints.

Renfrew County Warden Jennifer Murphy received a proverbial slap on the wrist last week after an integrity commissioner ruled she had breached the county’s code of conduct by threatening a reprisal.

The integrity commissioner, Guy Giorno, is the same man Deep River hired earlier this year to investigate code of conduct complaints levelled against members of its own council.

The complaint against the county warden, who also serves as Mayor of Bonnechere Valley, stem from incidents which took place in 2017.

Although Giorno didn’t identify either of the two complainants, North Algona Wilberforce (NAW) Mayor Deborah Farr openly stated at last week’s county council meeting that she was one of them.

The second was an unidentified person to whom Murphy had sent Facebook messages in which she indicated that she was “about to sue” the NAW mayor.

Giorno said that “threatening a lawsuit against someone who submitted, is believed to have submitted, or might possibly submit,” a code of conduct complaint is prohibited by the code.

“I find that a threat of litigation is prohibited (by the code) even if a council member does not believe litigation to be threatening or intimidating,” Giorno wrote.

“It is reasonable to view litigation as something that would be threatening or intimidating to a typical person.”

In his summary of findings, Giorno said that, while he found that county council’s code of conduct had been breached, he recommended that no penalty be levied against the warden, noting that Murphy “has acknowledged the error and apologized to the complainant’s family member.”

> for the full story, pick up a copy of the Sept. 5 NRT…