Rejected Candidate Files Integrity Commission Complaint

A woman who wanted to represent Windsor's Ward 3 is lodging a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner over the way her paperwork was rejected.

Patsy Copus has released a statement claiming several other candidates were assisted in filing their paperwork, but an omission on hers was not pointed out.

Copus had the 25 names of supporters required for the filing, but one of them did not sign the document after writing in their name.

She feels city staff weren't doing their jobs properly.

"It was a bit messed up when I went in there because the person who was supposed to accept the application was on the telephone," says Copus. "So someone else started it and another person finished it off. I worked for the Ministry of the Attorney General and we would receive forms everyday, but we made sure that the forms were filled out correctly to avoid delays."

The city's Manager of Records and Elections Chuck Scarpelli says the new requirement may have caused some confusion.

"This has not really happened before. It's due to the fact that there's been a change in the legislation and candidates, now, are required to hand in an endorsement paper. Because of this being new there may have been some confusion, whatever the case may be," says Scarpelli.

Scarpelli says city employees did all they could. "The only thing clerks at the counter could do was to count the number of endorsers that the individual had, and if they had 25 that was it. There was no real examination of the Form 2. So the scrutinizing of the form was done at a later date just before they were certified," he says.

Copus says current legislation doesn't allow her to appeal the city's decision.

"I said to them, 'Why didn't you call and tell me?' They said they don't have to. So if it hadn't of been somebody saying to me, "By the way, your name is off of the list," I would never have known. I would still be out there campaigning in Ward 3. I could have been voted out and this would have been a mute point, but I wasn't given that opportunity," she says.

Copus says she is also filing complaints to the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission.