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Saturday , 31 July 2021

M.D. of Bonnyville councillor reprimanded after code of conduct breach: M.D.

An M.D. of Bonnyville councillor has been reprimanded after breaching council’s code of conduct, a letter published online Thursday said.

Dana Swigart, Ward 5 councillor in Ardmore, will have his council committee positions revoked and has been directed to refrain from having any further contact with employees of the municipality, other than the chief administrative officer, regarding municipal business.

The letter signed by Reeve Greg Sawchuk was published on the M.D. of Bonnyville’s website on Thursday.

The letter alleges that Swigart interfered in administration matters by confronting two municipal employees, claiming to speak on behalf of council without authorization, and making misleading statements to these employees.

The nature of the incident is not known.

At their committee meeting on Wednesday, council began the meeting and then went into a closed session for almost an hour to discuss code of conduct.

Before the motion of reprimand was called to a vote, Sawchuk made these comments.

“On this one, it’s a tough decision when you have to pass essentially judgement on your own member of council and it’s not something that we take lightly up here for sure. But it’s my belief and I think the belief of the rest of council that we are held to a higher ethical standard, and we have a code of conduct for a reason,” he said.

“We’ve seen examples at the federal level where ethics breaches have been made and nobody has been held accountable or responsible and we know that the public can get outraged at those things.

“I think this is a case where this council can show that we can do better. We can perhaps show other levels of government that we can be accountable for our actions and that we can uphold our own code. Not an easy decision, but I thank council for the thoughtful conversation we had prior in closed session.”

 

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.