The city’s senior administrative officer will select potential members for a conduct review committee that will investigate complaints lodged against city councillors.
Sheila Bassi-Kellet said she would draft a list of names for the conduct review committee that council would then approve. The committee will comprise local professionals and council members.
Members will be selected for experience in disciplinary matters and for their neutrality, she said during Tuesday’s Municipal Services Committee meeting.
“It will be very important that there be no conflict of interest with any of these members,” said Bassi-Kellet.
City council discussed Tuesday who should sit on a conduct review committee that would investigate complaints against their members, and how those people should be chosen.
Councilor Shauna Morgan asked if striking a conduct review committee without city councilors was an option.
“There’s definitely gray area here given that all councilors have had to wade in, to some degree, to date on this,” said Bassi-Kellet, referring to complaints slated for investigation.
“Knowing what people know, they need to be very honest in terms of… if they can be as unbiased as possible in listening to simply what the facts are as the review unfolds.”
The committee would investigate two related complaints.
The first is one launched two years ago by a city inspector against Konge in his capacity as a president of Konge Construction.
The second is a complaint made by Konge against the mayor. Konge alleges Heyck was out of bounds when he investigated the city inspectors’ complaint and took the results to council.
Bassi-Kellet said committee appointments are decided by council, however if council decides to exclude their members from the committee, it would be a “departure from the code of conduct.”
A conduct review committee was last struck in 2006 and Bassi-Kellet noted that the rules surrounding conduct are old and need updating.
This new conduct review committee would likely serve for one year, during which time the city would develop a “new and more robust code of conduct for council,” she said.
Heyck, Konge and councilor Steve Payne, who formally supported Konge’s complaint, recused themselves from conduct review committee talks.
Morgan did not recuse herself despite co-signing Heyck’s complaint against Konge.
Morgan said she consulted with Bassi-Kellet and the SAO indicated that she was not in conflict.