City of Mississauga to settle former councillor Ron Starr’s lawsuit

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Published November 29, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Investigation of Mississauga councillor extended amid 'new allegations'

A lawsuit filed by former Mississauga councillor Ron Starr will likely be settled.

In a closed-session meeting last week, Mississauga councillors voted in favour of setting a lawsuit against the city filed by former Mississauga Ward 6 councillor in divisional court.

Starr, who lost his bid for re-election in October, was embroiled in controversy this year over the keying of former Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras’s SUV.

On July 6, the city’s Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze found Starr engaged in harassment related to key scratches discovered on fellow councillor’s SUV. Swayze recommended Starr’s pay be suspended for 60 days.

Starr’s pay loss was approximately $15,000.

Swayze’s investigation found the Ward 6 councillor scratched former Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras’ vehicle on April 13, 2021 “and that the single incident of scratching constitutes workplace harassment” under the city’s respectful workplace policy. Swayze called the incident “mindless harassment” and “bullying.”

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Starr denied the allegations and in a statement this June, Starr said he was having the actions of city council and the integrity commissioner “reviewed before a court of law.”

Council discussed “litigation or potential litigation” regarding the “Starr v. City of Mississauga et. al., Application to Divisional Court” in closed session back in June this year, before the integrity commissioner announced his findings.

There were no details provided on the lawsuit and Starr’s lawyer Emilio Bisceglia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, council went back into closed session to discuss the Starr lawsuit and voted to authorize legal counsel to settle the divisional court application.

Only Ward 2 Councillor Alvin Tedjo and Ward 7 Councillor Dipika Damerla voted against the motion.

View the council decision here.

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