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Simcoe County may retain joint ombudsman for all municipalities

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In Council Watch
Mar 2nd, 2016
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Suzanne Craig

Orillia integrity commissioner resigns

By Patrick Bales, The Orillia Packet & Times

The city is looking at its options following the resignation of its integrity commissioner and closed-meeting investigator.

Suzanne Craig resigned her position, effective Feb. 29. Mayor Steve Clarke said it was his impression she had left the city position to pursue other opportunities.

City staff has been tasked with looking into replacing Craig, but it may not be that simple. The County of Simcoe is investigating the potential appointment of a joint ombudsman for municipalities in the county. Simcoe County would have an annual retainer fee, with each member municipality only being accountable for costs associated with investigations that occur within that municipality.

York, Durham and Waterloo regions have or are investigating such an arrangement, the staff report said.

In the interim, if a resident has a concern with council that requires the investigation of an integrity officer, the concern can be addressed through the Ontario ombudsman. The current term of council has not seen any such complaint to date.

Orillia’s Integrity Commissioner quits

By Frank Matys Orillia Today February 17 2016

Orillia’s integrity commissioner and closed-meeting investigator has tendered her resignation.

In a letter included in a council information package, Suzanne Craig said her services would end Feb. 29.

Craig has served as integrity commissioner since 2012 and closed meeting investigator since 2013.

It was during the previous council’s often-tumultuous tenure that Craig ruled three councillors contravened the city’s code of conduct in relation to a recreation proposal.

She recommended the city implement policies that ensure councillors “keep at arms-length from a potential proponent” during the procurement process and avoid possible conflicts.

Full story

From City of Orillia website: About the Integrity Commissioner

With over 15 years of legal, policy and management experience in the public and private sectors, Ms. Craig has a detailed understanding of the procedures, rules and investigative processes of the various provincial and municipal agencies, boards and commissions. Ms. Craig has a professional background of engagement in good governance, fair information processes and social justice.

Proficient with the legal principles involved in conducting investigations and natural justice, Ms. Craig has held various positions with the province of Ontario. In 2005, Ms. Craig was appointed Director of Corporate Access and Privacy at the City of Toronto and in 2009, she was appointed Integrity Commissioner for the City of Vaughan.

 

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