Saskatoon city councillor subject of 3 Integrity Commissioner complaints
A Saskatoon city councillor was the subject of Integrity Commissioner investigations in connection to three separate complaints.
The complaints involving Coun. Darren Hill are outlined in reports from the city's Integrity Commissioner submitted to council ahead of Monday's meeting.
The reports outline how Hill allegedly shared confidential "in camera" information during a public council meeting as he fought to keep his role as a board Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) member.
Hill lost council's support for the FCM position after his future as a councillor was in jeopardy in the wake of late campaign expense filings.
The Ward 1 councillor attributed the lapse to a series of health issues which included a brain injury and lingering effects from COVID-19.
A judge eventually ruled Hill's breach of protocol was inadvertent, citing Hill's health issues in his decision.
Integrity Commissioner Randy Langgard is recommending council censure Hill in the form of a letter of reprimand for the alleged breach of confidentiality.
However, the commissioner accepted Hill's health issues likely contributed to two other complaint's investigated by his office.
One complaint, filed by city manager Jeff Jorgenson, related to "numerous alterations" in July 2020 to a shared meeting and lunch room near a cubicle area reserved for councillors at City Hall.
Carpets, countertops, wall coverings and furniture were damaged, according to the commissioner's report. Hill stopped his activities when asked by Jorgenson.
Hill did not dispute the complaint and apologized for his actions, the commissioner said in the report.
The estimated cost of repairs was $10,000, however Jorgenson acknowledged some of the work would have been necessary in any event.
Another complaint, centered around Hill's attempts to specifically identify a parking enforcement officer who erroneously issued parking warning notices in his ward in September 2020.
After a series of calls and emails to staff at the city's parking enforcement division, Hill posted a video on his website "attacking or disparaging" the unit on his website, according to the commissioner's report.
At the time, Hill believed that some within the parking enforcement unit were "purposefully undermining his campaign for re-election in 2020," the commissioner said in the report.
"Coun. Hill has sought and is receiving medical treatment for his health challenges. He accepts that his thinking at the time in question was erroneous," Langgard wrote.
While the commissioner said Hill's health challenges are a mitigating factor, he does recommend action on Hill's part.
Langgard said Hill should make a written apology to the parking enforcement department and the manager responsible for the unit.
The commissioner also recommends Hill take down the video connected to the complaint from his website.
In regards to Jorgenson's complaint, Langgard said the city manager should determine if any financial loss to the city can be quantified and if so, Jorgenson should decide if the cost should be recovered from Hill.
After a delay, Jorgenson only raised the complaint "for the record," the commissioner said.
Langgard's report is expected to be discussed during Monday's regular City Council meeting.