Formal complaint filed against TVDSB trustee Jake Skinner

Thames Valley District School Board Trustee Jake Skinner, who is also the co-owner of Blackridge Strategy, is now facing a formal complaint from a fellow trustee.

Corinne Rahman filed the Code of Conduct complaint Wednesday following a press conference held by Skinner on Tuesday evening.

Speaking to the media, he again refused to address allegations in connection with a pair of smear campaign websites connected to his political consulting firm.

Rahman has not released the specific details of the reasons behind the complaint.

In a statement she said, "In my opinion, in submitting a formal complaint, I have followed our procedure to request an inquiry into the actions of Trustee Skinner. It is important to me, to stand up for what I believe in and set a good example for students."

Asked on Tuesday, before a complaint was filed, if he would support a potential Code of Conduct investigation that could clear his name, Skinner said, "Yeah, absolutely, I think really what the struggle is right now is that I'm not able to provide additional information. I think that information is, of course, vital to those sort of questions."

The complaint is now in the hands of the TVDSB Chair Arlene Morrell.

Morrell said she would not be answering any questions about the issue.

She issued this statement:

"A formal letter of complaint regarding Trustee Jake Skinner's conduct related to his ownership of Blackridge Strategy was submitted to the Chair on June 12, 2019. The Board of Trustess will be proceeding with a formal inquiry as outlined in the Board's Bylaws."

Blackridge under fire

Skinner and Blackridge co-owner Amir Farahi have been under the microscope after documents released following a court order linked the firm to websites that targeted two candidates in the 2018 municipal election.

The sites, maureencassidy.ca and virginiaridley.ca, harshly criticized the then incumbent councillors, including allegations of child abuse against former councillor Virginia Ridley for bringing her son to a meeting at city hall and criticism of Councillor Maureen Cassidy for her extra-marital affair with then-mayor Matt Brown.

The documents showed the sites having been registered in Farahi's name and paid for with a credit card that was also in his name.

The company has since defended the contents of the websites as factual, though they have not directly taken responsibility for the contents.