MISSISSAUGAWATCH
MississaugaWatch Mississauga Watch Dear Madam Mayor:
The McCallion Letters

City of Mississauga’s new Integrity Commissioner, Robert J. Swayze did not perform due diligence –neither did Governance Committee

September 17th, 2012  

Back in June the City of Mississauga announced that it had hired Robert J. Swayze as its new Integrity Commissioner.

I’m reminded of what Mayor Hazel McCallion said at the March 17, 2008 Audit Committee meeting.

“I hope that the people we hire are sensitive to the fact that we are dealing with the public and we should give them every understanding possible.”

On September 17, 2012 the Mississauga Governance Committee provided Robert J. Swayze with his first opportunity to demonstrate that McCallion had hired an Integrity Commissioner who is sensitive to the fact that he is dealing with the public and will give them every understanding possible.

The June 20, 2012 press release City of Mississauga Appoints Integrity Commissioner at the City’s website announcing states:

“Mr. Swayze possesses significant experience in the practice of municipal law, both in private practice and as previous City Solicitor in two municipalities,” said City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench. “He currently serves as Integrity Commissioner to a number of municipalities including Oakville, Guelph, Brantford, Port Hope and Carleton Place. He is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in municipal law. Staff will work with Mr. Swayze over the summer and report back to Council in the fall concerning recommendations to amend the Code of Conduct for Mayor and Members of Council.”

Nothing there about Robert J. Swayze being appointed an Integrity Commissioner because in addition to his expertise in municipal law, he is also sensitive to the fact that he is dealing with the public and will give them every understanding possible.

But most certainly Mr. Swayze’s September 7, 2012  “First Report of the Integrity Commissioner” will provide the necessary evidence that Mayor Hazel McCallion ensured that Mississauga residents will be served by an integrity commissioner who is sensitive to the fact that he is dealing with the public and will, over his five year term, give us every understanding possible. Right?

The reality is that the very moment that the reader gets past these headers of Swayze’s report:

DATE: September 7,2012
TO:  Chair and members of the Governance Committee Meeting Date: September 17, 2012
FROM: Robert J. Swayze Integrity Commissioner
SUBJECT: First Report of the Integrity Commissioner

to RECOMMENDATIONS, it is Robert J. Swayze sensitive-FAIL/understanding-FAIL and by extension Hazel McCallion-FAIL.

For part of the reason we just need to go back to the City’s news release and the quote from City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench.

She stated:

“Staff will work with Mr. Swayze over the summer and report back to Council in the fall concerning recommendations to amend the Code of Conduct for Mayor and Members of Council.”

And what is Robert J. Swayze’s first recommendation?

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. That the mandate of the Integrity Commissioner not be
expanded to include investigations of members of City staff;

That’s right. City of Mississauga staff worked with the new Integrity Commissioner over the summer concerning recommendations to amend the Mississauga Council Code of Conduct and apparently recommended that Mr. Swayze not investigate them!

How is City of Mississauga senior staff  working with Integrity Commissioner Swayze on whether to expand his mandate to include investigations of City senior staff not conflict of interest?

And a more troubling question: Why didn’t Robert J. Swayze, (who is also the Integrity Commissioner for Oakville, Guelph, Brantford, Port Hope and Carleton Place) recognize that working with City of Mississauga staff on whether he should investigate them as a conflict of interest?

It’s easy to demonstrate that Robert J. Swayze did not perform due diligence prior to writing his September 7, 2012  “First Report of the Integrity Commissioner” to the Governance Committee.

Neither did Councillor Frank Dale, Ward 4, Councillor Katie Mahoney, Ward 8, and Mayor Hazel McCallion, who all participated in the March 17, 2008 Audit Committee meeting where McCallion said:

“I hope that the people we hire are sensitive to the fact that we are dealing with the public and we should give them every understanding possible.”

Last, also for the record —from the Mississauga News June 20, 2012 article, “City appoints integrity commissioner”:

He is being paid a $24,000 annual retainer, which will cover the costs of all inquiries that do not require extensive research (less than one hour), a $1,500 block fee for providing educational sessions of half a day and $280 per hour for services outside the above.

The City has budgeted $100,000 for the role of the integrity commission for each year.

All those bucks and City of Mississauga staff still “investigate” themselves. And to be clear, that’s not allegation but Fact.

 

Signed,
MISSISSAUGAWATCH

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