A municipal watchdog agency in Québec has issued a citation against Brownsburg-Chatham Mayor Catherine Trickey.
A recent investigation by the Commission Municipal du Québec (CMQ) of actions by the mayor going back to 2016, resulted in the citation.
The commission believes it has enough information to prove that the mayor violated the municipal ethics code.
On October 4, 2016, Trickey approved legal costs for the town without council’s consent.
The citation also states that the mayor neglected to declare a conflict regarding the legal costs at a council meeting.
The CMQ found that a special council meeting convened by Trickey on January 16, 2018 violated the code because the intent of the meeting was to end the employment of the former Director-General before the end of his contract.
According to the citation, on March 28, 2018, the mayor again violated the code when she disclosed confidential information about allegations of psychological harassment among municipal employees to a journalist from a Lachute newspaper.
The CMQ has also found that Trickey was in conflict of interest at two different council meetings in 2018 and 2019.
The citation states that she did not declare her interest in discussions at the April 3, 2018 council meeting and participated in those discussions.
At that meeting, council approved a resolution demanding the mayor’s resignation within 48 hours after approving the earlier legal costs without council’s consent.
According to the CMQ, Trickey also violated the code on January 15, 2019 when she again did not declare her interest in discussions and then participated in those discussions.
At that meeting, the earlier motion to demand Trickey’s resignation was repealed by council and the mayor continued to preside over the meeting during the discussion of that issue.
In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Trickey called the findings “isolated acts” and actions she performed in “good faith” in the best interests of the town.
She insisted that she did not benefit in any way beyond her regular role as mayor.
“I admit today that I have made mistakes. However, these are errors of good faith,” said Trickey.
The mayor pledged to not repeat the errors and apologized for any lack of trust and confidence that may have been created among individuals or in democratic institutions because of the situation.
Trickey also said she intends to defend her innocence in relation to what she described as “shortcomings” and “alleged breaches” of the municipal ethics code.
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