NIPAWIN — The Town of Nipawin said that it has started an investigation into a possible contravention of its code of conduct by Mayor Rennie Harper, with the help of an Alberta-based firm.
“This investigation will be a fair and impartial process that will take several weeks to complete,” said a May 25 release from the town.
The nature of the complaint has not been revealed by the town. Council did discuss the issue in a closed session.
“Bloom Centre for Municipal Education has been engaged to complete the investigation, which will include process reviews, interviews, analysis, and summarization that will be compiled into a final report,” the release said.
The town’s code of conduct has seven pillars:
- Honesty: council members are expected to be truthful and open.
- Objectivity: council members are expected to make decisions carefully, fairly and impartially.
- Respect: council members are to treat others with dignity and respect, and not engage in discrimination, bullying and harassment.
- Transparency and accountability: council members shall endeavour to conduct council business in an open and transparent manner, unless it is about a discussion that took place in a closed session. In a closed session, councillors can discuss sensitive items like those in The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, but any motion or resolution to enact a decision must be made in an open public session.
- Confidentially: council members are to refrain from releasing confidential information acquired as a result of their office except when they are authorized by council or are required to do so by law.
- Leadership and the public interest: council members are to serve their constituents in a conscious and diligent manner.
- Responsibility: council members are to act within legislation passed by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan. They are to disclose any conflicts of interest.
According to the code of conduct, if the complaint is substantiated, then council can impose an appropriate penalty, which can include:
- an apology,
- educational and ethical training,
- repayment of money or gifts received,
- removal of member of council from council committees or similar bodies,
- dismissal of the member from the position of chair of a council committee,
- suspension of remuneration provided to council member for a period of up to 90 days.
The town said more information would be released as the investigation is completed. The town told SASKTODAY.ca that they would make no further comment at this time.