Controversial Niagara Falls Councillor has pay suspended

CKTB - NEWS - Carolynn Ioannoni

Niagara Falls City Council unanimously approved suspending Councillor Carolynn Ioannoni's pay for 90 days after an Integrity Commissioner found she breached the council's code of conduct by disclosing confidential information about an in-camera item on a radio show on this station back in July. 

Council met behind closed doors to discuss the matter before ratifying the suspension of pay and removal from boards and committees for the remainder of the council term in open council. 

The IC report found Ioannoni publicly disclosed confidential information about the final approval of FedDev funding for the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub. 

Ioanonni who didn't attend last night's meeting due to health reasons issued a statement on her social media indicating she only disclosed what was already posted on the city's website for the public to see.  

The City’s website still contains the posting for the July 29, 2019 meeting indicating that the Council would be going into a closed meeting "related to a federal contribution agreement”.  

A CKTB news story posted the morning of the special meeting identified the subject of the special meeting as pertaining to the proposed Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub.  

A June 2019 posting on the City’s Business Development website describes the innovation hub as “a significant project that will be proposed to the public if the second application/submission to the FedDev Investment Fund is approved.”

The Ontario Ombudsman’s Office advises municipal councils to provide meaningful information to the public before going behind closed doors.

Ioannoni issued the below statement to CKTB news this afternoon. 

"My statements during the interview was based on the information posted on the city 2 weeks before council was even given the information.  Nobody from the city will explain why it was in there or who put it there given council had not dealt with the subject yet. The information was never removed from the city website, if it was confidential, in camera information one would think it had to be pulled down so there  was no reasonable expectation from me to think that it was private. Anyone could access it. I am very disappointed this was the direction council took. While they can legally suspend my pay for 90 days, by taking me off my committees for the rest of the term they are suspending that pay for almost 3 years. I am not sure they can legally do that. But I work for the residents, not council and I will continue to make sure they are informed when, where and how their money is spent, because that’s what I am elected to do whether I am working free or not."