Investigation underway into NDG borough office climate and mayor's conduct

CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery

The provincial body with the ability to suspend elected officials - the Commission Municipale du Quebec - is now investigating the workplace climate in the Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace office and conduct of its Mayor Sue Mongomery, a spokesperson confirmed to CTV News.

Montreal's comptroller general's office filed an ethics complaint Friday against Montgomery after she failed to act on the recommendations of an investigation into workplace harassment in the borough office.

"Despite numerous meetings and interventions to ask Ms. Sue Montgomery to act on the recommendations of the survey on the working climate in its borough to fulfill their legal obligations as an employer and their duty as a member of the council, the mayor of Cote-des-Neiges — Notre-Dame-de-Grace has never acted," reads a news release from the city.

In December, an investigation by the comptroller general found Montgomery's chief of staff Annalisa Harris had psychologically harassed the two employees and recommended she have zero contact with bureaucratic officals.

The analysis of the investigation, the release reads, found "significant breaches of the work climate" as well as "Montgomery's willful blindness."

"Montgomery's inaction contributes to the maintenance of a difficult work climate which has consequences for the smooth functioning of the borough," the release reads.

Montgomery said there were issues with the investigation demanding to review the evidence.

In January, Mayor Valerie Plante kicked Montgomery out of the Projet Montreal caucus.

"I acted as soon as I was made aware of the allegations. I assigned a member of my team as the contct between my office and bureaucrats. The comptroller general has never asked me to fire my Chief of Staff. This demand came from Mayor Plante," Sue Montgomery told CTV News later on Friday. "Why is the Plante administration allowing the comptroller general to hide the facts?"

A source close to the mayor told CTV News that the decision was made without Mayor Valerie Plante's involvement.

The maximum penalty for violating the code of ethics would be a 90-day suspension for Montgomery.