Listen Live
HomeRegional NewsNewsInvestigation upholds complaints against Trail mayor, councillor

Investigation upholds complaints against Trail mayor, councillor

An investigation has upheld complaints lodged at Trail’s mayor and a city councillor for violating council’s code of conduct. But while both have apologized to council, they question the value of a process that they say has cost the city nearly $50,000.

According to a news release from the city, a third-party investigator agreed Mayor Lisa Pasin violated the “respect” and “integrity” sections of the code of conduct and “did not behave in a manner that would promote public confidence” in her treatment of councillors Carol Dobie, Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson, Colleen Jones, and Robert Cacchioni in closed meetings held in June 2021.

Dobie, Gattafoni Robinson, and Jones filed a joint complaint while Cacchioni filed another one separately, alleging Pasin violated the violence in workplace and council code of conduct.

A separate complaint brought by Cacchioni alleged councillor Sandi Santori violated the workplace in violence and council code of conduct during closed council meetings in October 2020 and June 2021 through statements and behavior that Cacchioni considered “threatening, abusive and harassing.”

- Advertisement -

The investigator ruled that the violence in the workplace policy did not apply to interactions between council members, but agreed Santori breached the “respect” section of the council code of conduct.

The release did not provide any specific details about the allegations.

Pasin read a prepared statement to council this evening.

“I take full responsibility for allowing my frustration to show and for any comments which were seen as disrespectful,” she said. “I am sorry I allowed my frustration to come to the surface.”

“Moving forward I intend to bite my tongue more, take deep breaths before responding to provocation or aggression, and speak with more precision.”

However, she said that of “multiple allegations” against her, “only two … stood up to the investigator’s scrutiny.” Pasin said the investigator described them as “minor breaches of the code” based on glib comments she made to Cacchioni.

She also said the investigator dismissed the “vast majority” of the complaints brought by Cacchioni, Jones, Dobie, and Gattafoni Robinson.

Vista Radio has not seen a copy of the investigator’s report.

This is the second code of conduct investigation conducted during this term of Trail city council. The first, involving Cacchioni, led to the departure of longtime city manager David Perehudoff.

“It is incredibly regrettable that the toxic atmosphere at council has, to date, cost the City of Trail $419,250,” Pasin added, referring to the loss of Perheudoff, which she says accounted for $369,750 in wages, benefits, and legal costs.

“These retaliatory complaints against councillor Santori and I have cost an additional $49,500. This frivolous and time-wasting behaviour is not in the best interest of the citizens of Trail. We owe it to the citizens of Trail, who entrusted us with a mandate, to act in their best interests.”

Pasin says she urges councillors to “reengage in respectful workplace conduct with each other and with our staff to ensure a respectful workplace is upheld in the future.”

“I truly hope we can return to true representation of our community moving forward and collectively reengage with work that is in the best interest of our community,” she says.

In a prepared statement also read tonight, Santori said he has since apologized to Cacchioni.

“I do not deny that during three heated and highly frustrating discussions over three closed council meetings in June 2021 that I did shake my head, smirk, laugh, interrupt councillor Cacchioni and wave my hands,” he said.

“Yes, in October 2020 my choice of words to describe councillor Cacchioni’s behavior were inappropriate. I will endeavor to choose my words and gestures more carefully.”

However, Santori, a former mayor, said he would “continue to defend the office of the mayor and our dedicated and committed staff when they are being disrespected.”

He said it was “unfortunate and sad” that relationships among some council members have eroded to an “irreparable level.”

“While the findings of the [investigator] may have given them some personal satisfaction and an apology, I ask was it in the best interest to spend $49,500 to engage a third-party investigator? I would have been more than happy to offer an apology that would have cost the taxpayers nothing.”

None of the other councillors commented on the matter during the meeting.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading