Essex Councillor Considers Charges Against Integrity Commissioner

Outspoken Councillor Randy Voakes is considering filing discrimination charges against the town's integrity commissioner.

Voakes accuses Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze of discriminating against him because of Voakes' medical issues.

He missed three committee meetings and Voakes alleges Swayze told him he shouldn't be on the committee if he has health issues.

"I had said to Mr. Swayze, you are aware that I'm diabetic," Voakes told reporters.  "His response to that was, Councillor Voakes, if you are diabetic and you have those health concerns, maybe you shouldn't be sitting on committees."

The Essex Councillor is no longer on that committee of adjustment.

Aside from that, a report is scheduled to come before town council on Tuesday, September 5, with recommendations dealing with council complaints against Voakes.

The report by Swayze recommends Voakes pay be suspended for two months based on complaints from some councillors. Some councillors accuse Voakes continues to display disrespect for the process and rules including his "aggressive and bullying behaviour."

Voakes says if town council just 'notes and files' the report on Tuesday, he won't file the discrimination charges.

But he says if council decides to accept the recommendations in the report, then Voakes will file the discrimination charges, and says he will defend himself.

Voakes says it is time for council to get a new integrity commissioner.

He claims some councillors have an agenda against him.

"They have got one goal. They got a goal to make me look bad and a goal to enhance their political positioning and that they are all right and this guy before you is all wrong."

Voakes says the latest report by the integrity commissioner, based on the complaints from council, will cost taxpayers about $50,000.