Mississauga vows to fight attempt to block release of harassment report
Published June 9, 2022 at 10:21 am
Mississauga intends to fight any attempts to block the release of a report that investigates the behaviour of one of its councillors.
Yesterday, (June 8) Mississauga decided it will oppose the action of Councillor Ron Starr who has taken legal steps to stop a report by the City’s integrity commissioner from being made public. The report looks into allegations that Starr vandalized the car of a councillor.
Following a secret session that Starr didn’t attend, the rest of council directed the City solicitor to oppose Starr’s legal attempts to seal all documents related to the case. As well, the City will also push to expedite any court proceedings that will allow the investigative report by Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze to be released.
The career of Ward 6 Councillor Starr has been under a cloud of uncertainly since January when he was accused of bullying and harassing Ward 2 Councillor Karen Ras over a two-year period.
The allegations came to light when Ras abruptly resigned her position earlier this year pointing out that her car had been vandalized on several occasions.
An investigation by Peel Regional Police into the matter led to Starr paying $1,250 for the damage to the car but no criminal charges were laid.
Initially, Mississauga’s integrity commissioner declined to investigate saying it was a police matter, but the resulting publicity of the case led City councillors to demand an internal probe which has been ongoing now for several months.
This past weekend Starr released a statement defending his lengthy public service.
“The false allegations against me are not only profoundly shocking, but they threaten to dismantle a reputation that I’ve been building for decades,” the statement reads.
Starr said he has remained silent for the past several months to respect the process and the role of the integrity commissioner.
“However, I cannot stay silent any further. I will reserve my comment only to state that I have grave concerns about the way this investigation has been handled by both City council and the integrity commissioner as I do not believe that this process has been fair and impartial,” he says.
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