The Mayor of Brownsburg-Chatham has been temporarily sidelined by Québec’s municipal oversight agency.

On July 31, the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ), suspended Mayor Catherine Trickey for a total of 18 days.

In 2016, Trickey used municipal resources without the consent of council and requested that the municipality pay for legal expenses which had not been authorized by council. A complaint had been filed with the CMQ related to this matter.

During an October 4, 2016 council meeting the mayor was said to have failed to declare a conflict interest to council when a resolution to approve recent expenditures was presented.

On January 16 2018, Trickey convened a special council meeting with the purpose of terminating the municipality’s former Director-General before the end of his contract.

While giving an interview to a journalist from a Lachute newspaper on March 28 2018, Trickey was accused of divulging confidential information about psychological harassment involving municipal employees.

On April 3, 2018, Tricky was said to have again neglected to declare a conflict of interest at a council meeting. Trickey was accused of again failing to declare her interest regarding a resolution at a council meeting on January 15, 2019, and participated in the discussion regarding that resolution.

The conflict of interest citations from April 2018 were withdrawn because they involved a motion passed by council calling for the mayor’s resignation.

The citation alleging conflict of interest from January 2016 was withdrawn because Trickey had called a plenary meeting to inform council of the situation regarding the Director-General but no councillors attended, and she also informed the Director-General that the special council meeting had been called and his employment would be the subject of the meeting.
According to the CMQ documents explaining the decision, Trickey and her legal counsel requested that the presiding administrative judge, CMQ Vice President Thierry Usclat take into account that the mayor received no personal benefits from the incidents, that she had no previous violations of municipal ethics laws, that she cooperated fully with the investigation, and that she acknowledged her role in the violations.

In its decision, the CMQ accepted Trickey’s testimony, but issued two reprimands for the October 2016 violations.
For the March 28, 2018 discussion of confidential information with the Lachute journalist, Trickey received a 15-day suspension.

Two three-day suspensions were issued for the January 2019 failure to declare a conflict of interest at a council meeting and for participating in the discussion involving the agenda item. However, the CMQ ruled that the two three-day suspensions could be served concurrently, resulting in a total suspension time of 18 days.

Trickey’s suspension, without remuneration, takes effect on August 7. No regular council meeting is scheduled during the 18-day period. Councillor Sylvie Décosse is the designated interim mayor for whenever the mayor is not present to fulfill her duties.