At its meeting today, Council passed a resolution requesting the Integrity Commissioner conduct an investigation into the allegations that Councillor Ron Starr engaged in harassing behaviour towards former Councillor Karen Ras that violated the Councillor Code of Conduct and/or the City’s Respectful Workplace Policy.
Council requested that Councillor Starr take a leave of absence until the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation has concluded and the report is presented to Council.
Council also requested the Integrity Commissioner attend a Special Council meeting on February 9, 2022 or at his earliest convenience to explain his rationale for not investigating former Councillor Ras’s complaint regarding this matter and to explain how Sections 2(2)(a) and 2(2)(c) of the Council Code of Conduct Complaint Protocol applies to this situation.
“Neither Council or the Corporation of the City of Mississauga condone the alleged actions by one of our City Councillors or any harassment or bullying at City facilities,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We take seriously the safety of all our employees, Members of Council and everyone who visits the City Hall precinct. Through this investigation, we will get the answers Council and the public demand and deserve.”
It is important to note that City Councillors are not employees of the Corporation of the City of Mississauga. They are governed by the Councillor Code of Conduct. Complaints about contraventions of the Code are be made to the Integrity Commissioner. Matters between Councillors are dealt with through the Code, and where criminal activities are involved, through Peel Regional Police.
The City can confirm that staff received a report of vandalism/property damage occurring within the City Hall secure parking garage in April 2021. City of Mississauga security staff followed and continue to follow all procedures and cooperate with Peel Regional Police in their investigations when asked to do so. This includes providing video footage if requested. The City does not publicly comment on the specifics of security incidents or disclose the content of security tapes as the footage is protected under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and our Video Surveillance Policy (03-10-02).
Specifics of this matter are best addressed by Peel Regional Police.