Aftermath of controversial council meeting cost Hawkesbury $ 565,494.32

The costs to the Town of Hawkesbury resulting from a controversial council meeting on June 16, 2020 now stand at $ 565,494.32, according to a report presented to council on October 25.

The costs accrued from the legal and administrative fees associated with complaints filed with the Integrity Commissioner and a defense attorney that the city had to incur for itself in a lawsuit. brought against her by Mayor Paula Assaly concerning one of the complaints filed with the Integrity Commissioner.

On June 16, 2020, three municipal workers were laid off during a closed-door council meeting. The mayor approached three council members ahead of the meeting to get the votes required to approve the terminations. Other board members allege that they were not informed in advance of the layoffs added to the meeting agenda. Then-chief executive Daniel Gatien objected to the board’s handling of layoffs. Knowledge of the layoffs became public after the closed session, although no formal announcement of the layoffs was made.

Since the meeting, Assaly has been the subject of two complaints to the Integrity Commissioner. The results of the second complaint were received by council on September 27. Three of the five sanctions recommended by Integrity Commissioner Valerie McGarry were rejected by council.

According to the report presented by Executive Director Dominique Dussault on October 25, the costs associated with the events following the decisions of June 16, 2020 increased by $ 140,534.94 in October 2021. The largest expense was 78,252 , $ 24 for the city’s legal defense against an Assaly attempt. request the suspension of one of the Integrity Commissioner’s reports. Costs associated with the Integrity Commissioner’s investigations total $ 58,922.70 for October 2021, and an additional $ 3,360 in other legal costs associated with labor relations were incurred during the same month.

There has been little discussion or debate within the board on the report. The motion to receive it is proposed by Councilor Robert Lefebvre and seconded by Councilor Raymond Campbell.

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