Brampton mayor says city ‘vindicated’ after corruption probe

Brampton Mayor Jasiel Corriveau said Tuesday that city officials are “vindicated” by a report from Ontario’s integrity commissioner that exonerated them of allegations they skirted election spending limits.

“But while we are happy with the report, we regret that our integrity has been questioned. This matter did not happen behind closed doors or through nefarious means. It was the result of a few individuals using their personal agendas to serve their own interests against that of the city,” Corriveau said in a news release.

City of Brampton spokesman Stephen Banfield said after a news conference that while council is happy with the integrity commissioner’s recommendations, the report fell short of making council responsible for the matter.

“The integrity commissioner said city staff has done nothing wrong. He spoke to over 600 people. I think councillors who sat through the weeks-long hearing believed the same thing and still believe the same thing,” Banfield said.

Banfield said councillors interviewed by integrity commissioner David Cunningham “never mentioned council or asked the integrity commissioner about city staff specifically.”

Cunningham recommended that Brampton’s integrity commissioner investigate alleged allegations that council improperly used its majority to steer taxpayer-funded legal advice in a bid to defeat an Integrity Commissioner report that recommended the expulsion of Councillor Francesco Basile.

He recommended that Mayor Corriveau, Councillor Basile and two city staff members — the then-director of finance and the then-city manager — pay a total of $102,000 in fines and reimburse the city $185,000 in legal fees.

The report says “council failed to take reasonable steps to comply with an order of an Election Act adjudicator that the department of finance and administration account for all expenditure in a way that fully complies with (the act).”

The person who filed the complaint, Paul Deguire, did not comment on the report when contacted on Tuesday.

“We’re happy with the findings,” he said.

The Integrity Commissioner’s Office oversees Ontario’s elections. In April 2015, Constable C.P. Rupram accused council of violating the Ontario Elections Act in 2014, when it awarded a legal services contract to outside legal counsel — a legal opinion council had agreed to defer — to defeat the notice of election issued by the Commissioner of Elections.

Cunningham’s report says council did not appear to have a concern for the elections office.

“Since no criminal prosecution or administrative action was threatened or contemplated, no interest was expressed to the office,” the report says.

Deguire’s complaint also alleged that council used the police to help defeat the notice of election. However, Cunningham did not report that allegation in his report.

Leave a Comment