Mayor ‘surprised’ and ‘disappointed’ by embattled Mississauga councillor’s return


Published April 7, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Investigation of Mississauga councillor extended amid 'new allegations'

Mississauga City Councillor Ron Starr, who earlier agreed to take a leave of absence while allegations that he repeatedly vandalized a colleague’s vehicle were investigated, was a surprise participant at yesterday’s (April 6) City council meeting.

“I was not aware that Councillor Starr was going to join the council meeting yesterday. I was quite surprised. And, also, I was quite disappointed,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today (April 7). “We asked Councillor Starr to take a leave of absence until the integrity commissioner filed his report to council…which is due at the next council meeting (April 20).

“But we have no ability to require Councillor Starr to not participate in meetings. He is still a sitting, elected official…and he can participate if he chooses.”

Starr, who represents Ward 6 and has been accused of bullying and harassing former Mississauga Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras, participated in Wednesday’s meeting virtually, casting votes on a number of matters before council.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie speaks at her media briefing this morning (April 7), when she addressed the matter of Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr’s “surprise” participation in Wednesday’s council meeting.

He had not participated in any council or general committee meetings since February, when he agreed to a council resolution asking that he take a leave until the City’s integrity commissioner Robert Swayze completed his probe.

A request by for a comment from Starr was not returned.

Swayze was directed by council in February to look into allegations that Starr repeatedly harassed and bullied Ras over a two-year period ending in early 2021.

Ras’ car was keyed/vandalized eight times while in the City’s underground parking garage.

Ras, who had served on council since 2014, resigned at the end of January. She said initially it was a move based on a better job opportunity and family concerns, but later acknowledged the prime reason for leaving was her experience with her former colleague.

Ras now works with the Electrical Safety Authority. 

At a special meeting of City council on Feb. 9, Swayze told councillors that he initially decided against investigating the matter last year because it had been already probed by Peel Regional Police, who laid no charges.

Council also passed a resolution at that meeting that “clarifies and strengthens” the municipality’s Council Code of Conduct regarding investigative powers of the integrity commissioner.

Essentially, the resolution states that matters related to the Code can and will be investigated by the integrity commissioner even if police are also probing the matter.

Furthermore, the resolution now requires the integrity commissioner to make quarterly reports to council on any complaints received. Previously, such reports were presented once a year.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising