Integrity commissioner finds Councillor Ioannoni breached code of conduct
The Integrity Commissioner has found Niagara Falls Councillor Carolynn Ioannoni violated the Code of Conduct during an interview about the proposed Niagara Falls Ryerson University Innovation Hub.
The complaint stems from a July 29th interview with Matt Holmes where Ioannoni was asked about an upcoming in-camera meeting about the Hub.
Integrity commissioner Edward McDermott's report states she shared knowledge not authorized by council - namely that council was voting on final approval for FedDev funding.
McDermott decided Ioannoni breached two sections of the code related to sharing confidential information.
During the investigation, Ioannoni says the information she shared had already been made public through the city's website, a news release, and a story from CKTB News.
McDermott writes, "While I agree with Councillor Ioannoni that the general subject matter of the meeting had been disclosed by way of a news story on the NewsTalk 610 website, the City has stated that the release of such information was not authorized, and moreover, that the existence of the news story in question does not release the Councillor from her obligations to keep confidential information a secret and not engage in public discussions about such matters which all councillors knew were to be dealt with in a closed door meeting."
Ioannoni has previously been reprimanded for breaching in-camera.
The commissioner was originally recommending council issue a reprimand but Ioannoni says that has changed.
"I just got an addendum and the addendum says, 'Now that we know you had been charged before, we are now going to recommend that they take away your pay.' And I messaged back and said, 'I'm very confused because what does that have to do with this? You've agreed that you do not believe I purposely breached in-camera and you have a recommendation here.' Quite frankly, what I asked was, 'Who interfered?' Because in an investigation like this the integrity commissioner is supposed to be separate and aside. And he says he was contacted by the city. So who interfered at the city to have him change his recommendation?"
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