TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2013) - Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today issued the following statement with regard to the February 12, 2013 decision by the Council for the City of Greater Sudbury to replace his Office as its closed meeting investigator:
"Council for the City of Greater Sudbury has exercised its legal right to appoint a new investigator. In light of council's decision, my Office is wrapping up ongoing Sudbury cases immediately and not pursuing further investigations.
"Closing letters for two cases of closed meeting complaints that had already been completed at the time of council's decision are being forwarded to the city clerk, to be made public by Sudbury council no later than its next regularly scheduled meeting. These cases deal with complaints received by our Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET) in late 2012, about closed council meetings that were held in November 2010 and June 2012.
"We have also received more than 40 complaints in the past two days, alleging that councillors met secretly to discuss replacing my Office as closed meeting investigator, prior to Tuesday evening's vote.
"Although my Office is still Sudbury's investigator until the bylaw appointing a new investigator has passed, given the clear will of council, I have decided we will not pursue investigations of these or any other new complaints. We will contact the complainants and offer to forward their complaints to the new investigator, or give them the opportunity to withdraw their complaints."
Sudbury council first appointed the Ombudsman as its investigator on November 14, 2007.
Under the Municipal Act, 2001, all municipalities must have an investigator for complaints about closed meetings. By default, it is the Ombudsman's Office, but they can also appoint an investigator of their choice. The Ombudsman is the investigator for 190 of Ontario's 444 municipalities.
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Related materials at www.ombudsman.on.ca:
Ombudsman's OMLET Annual Report on closed municipal meetings
Ombudsman's 2012 Sudbury investigation (report) and visit to council (video)
Ombudsman's 2008 Sudbury investigation (report)