Bondy's pay suspended from Essex council over online comments
Ward 4 councillor Sherry Bondy's pay has been suspended for 30 days from Essex Council.
It comes after she posted negative comments online regarding the town's local electric distribution company.
“If you treat the professionals publicly like councillor Bondy wants to, you will lose them,” says Robert Swayze, the town's integrity commissioner.
Council voted in favour of the suspension, after a report from Swayze detailed a complaint he received from Mayor Larry Snively.
“This definitely wasn’t political in any means. I want to protect our staff,” Snively said during Monday’s council meeting.
He alleges Bondy harassed staff at E.L.K. Energy by posting negative comments on social media, violating the code of conduct for members of council.
“The comment about staff was disgraceful, quite frankly, and it shouldn’t have been made,” says Swayze.
Included in the report was a screenshot of Bondy’s post, an artist's rendition of an electrical star member being forcefully led as a prisoner to the gallows and about to be hanged.
Bondy claims the post had nothing to with E.L.K.
“The irony of this picture being used as way to silence me for poor service from E.L.K is uncanny,” says Bondy.
She agrees to having been critical of the company in the past, but says she did not violate the code of conduct.
“Working without pay is perfectly fine with me, if it has to mean we get to the end result.”
Fellow Councillor Steven Bjorkman spoke defending Bondy Monday evening.
“I don’t see a moment here where you say here’s where we breached the code of conduct.”
While Councillor Chris Vander Doelen called for even stronger action.
“Threatening anyone with a noose, it can’t be a joke, it doesn’t matter. If you use it, it results in a criminal police investigation and usually charges.”
Should Bondy continue with her public criticism of any staff, the integrity commissioner recommends a 90-day paid suspension each time.
“You can take my money, but you won’t take my voice because my voice is the voice of the people,” says Bondy.