Municipal Council Takes Action against Councillor Tamara & Gerry Liddle

Aug 10, 2016

Council at the Meeting of August 9, 2016.

At last night’s Council Meeting, Council took action against both Councillor Tamara Liddle and her husband, Gerry Liddle. Councillor Liddle was not present at the meeting, and no reason was given for her absence.

 

Norpro Security and Investigations (Norpro) investigated the complaint filed by the Liddle’s, and the complaints of harassment filed against them. The investigation’s report has not been made public, however, results were summarized in the action made last night. Norpro reviewed documents, policies, correspondence, and investigated 17 witnesses, noting that Gerry Liddle, Tamara Liddle and Paul Prosperi from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing refused to participate.

 

The investigation revealed that both Gerry Liddle and Councillor Tamara Liddle did harass CAO Chris Wray in an effort to obtain a personal benefit to avoid paying municipal taxes/avoid enforcement of their municipal tax arrears. Tellingly, Gerry Liddle and Councillor Tamara Liddle did not participate in the investigation and failed to provide any evidence or information.

 

There was no evidence found to support the complaints made by the Liddles – making them unsubstantiated. Making things even worse was that the investigation revealed that other members of municipal staff have suffered harassment by the Liddles. Not stopping there, the investigation also revealed that Gerry Liddle used his position as Chair of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee “in order to obtain information unethically and improperly to obtain information for his own personal use to create a job for himself to repair or rebuild the Wawa Goose.”.

 

The investigator drew the conclusion that Councillor Liddle should have declared a conflict of interest at two Council meetings at which enforcement of her tax arrears and her complaints were discussed. He went further to say “Councillor Liddle ought not to have participated in these specific meetings that it may have put her in an obvious conflict of interest”.

 

The investigation continued to explain Gerry and Councillor Tamara Liddle filed an application in the Superior Court of Justice against the Municipality in an apparent attempt to continue their harassment of CA0 Chris Wray and other members of the Municipality, and that the application was withdrawn without any evidence.

 

Disappointingly our Municipality has incurred significant expenses in investigation and defense; these expenses would not have happened if both Councillor Tamara and Gerry Liddle had followed the Municipal Act, 2001, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Municipal Code of Conduct.

 

Council also has a legal obligation under Bill 168 to provide a workplace free from harassment, and as a result must protect its employees from harassment. Council must also protect and prevent the unnecessary spending of public funds.

 

With Council finding that Councillor Tamara Liddle has acted in breach of her oath as a Councillor and against the best interests of Wawa; a number of actions are now in place restricting her contact with municipal employees, and her participation as a councillor.

 

Council also took action against Gerry Liddle, restricting his contact with municipal employees, removing him as Strategic Plan Implementation Committee Chair, and restricting him from being a member of that committee or any other municipal committee. Council also directed that he immediately cease holding himself out as in any way representing the Municipality.

 

These are very serious measures that Council has undertaken to protect municipal employees and the municipality against the actions of a Councillor and her spouse.

 

The full copy of the resolution made at the Municipal Council Meeting of August 9th, 2016 is below.

 

WHEREAS Gerry Liddle and Tamara Liddle filed a complaint to Mayor and Council against CAO Chris Wray with various allegations on November 12, 2015;

 

AND WHEREAS a complaint of harassment was filed against Councillor Tamara Liddle on November 14, 2015;

 

AND WHEREAS a complaint of harassment was filed against Gerry Liddle on November 14, 2015;

 

AND WHEREAS Norpro Security and Investigations was retained by the Municipality to investigate and provide findings on all of the above-noted complaints;

 

AND WHEREAS Norpro Security and Investigations conducted an investigation by reviewing many documents, policies and pieces of correspondence and by interviewing or attempting to interview 17 witnesses (Gerry Liddle, Tamara Liddle and Paul Prosperi from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing all refused to interview);

 

AND WHEREAS Norpro Security found that there was ample evidence that Gerry Liddle and Councillor Tamara Liddle did in fact harass CAO Chris Wray in an effort to obtain a personal benefit to avoid paying municipal taxes or avoid enforcement of their municipal tax arrears;

 

AND WHEREAS Norpro Security reported that Gerry Liddle and Councillor Tamara Liddle did not participate in the investigation and failed to provide any evidence or information to substantiate or provide specifics of their complaint against CAO Chris Wray;

 

AND WHEREAS Norpro Security found that there was no evidence to support the Liddle’s complaints against Chris Wray and the complaints were therefore found to be unsubstantiated;

 

AND WHEREAS the investigation revealed harassment by the Liddles against other members of municipal staff;

 

AND WHEREAS the investigation revealed that Gerry Liddle manipulated his position as Chair of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee in order to obtain information unethically and improperly to obtain information for his own personal use to create a job for himself to repair or rebuild the Wawa Goose;

 

AND WHEREAS the investigator concluded that Councillor Liddle failed to declare a conflict of interest with respect to meetings on November 30, 2015 and December 10, 2015 in which enforcement of her tax arrears and the above-noted complaints were discussed and that Councillor Liddle ought not have participated in these specific meetings that it may have put her in an obvious conflict of interest;

 

AND WHEREAS Gerry and Councillor Tamara Liddle commenced an application in the Superior Court of Justice against the Municipality in an apparent attempt to continue their harassment of CA0 Chris Wray and other members of the Municipality;

 

AND WHEREAS the application was withdrawn without any evidence being put forward by Gerry and Councillor Tamara Liddle;

 

AND WHEREAS the Municipality, as a result of the actions of Councillor Tamara Liddle and Gerry Liddle has had to incur significant expenses and dedicate considerable resources in dealing with and responding to their misconduct which expenses would not have been incurred had Councillor Tamara Liddle and Gerry Liddle complied with their obligations pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Municipal Code of Conduct,

 

AND WHEREAS Council takes very seriously its legal obligations to provide a workplace free from harassment and will not tolerate workplace harassment of any kind;

 

AND WHEREAS Council is determined and duty bound to protect its employees from this established pattern of harassment by Councillor Tamara Liddle and Gerry Liddle;

 

AND WHEREAS Council has an obligation to protect and prevent unnecessary expenditures of public funds;

 

AND WHEREAS Council has found that Councillor Tamara Liddle has acted in breach of her oath as a Councillor and against the best interests of Wawa;

 

 

NOWTHERFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Wawa does hereby enact the following:

 

  1. Apart from during Council Meetings, Councillor Tamara Liddle is to communicate with municipal staff solely by email to an email address to be provided. No other form of communication shall be permitted nor responded to; and
  2. Councillor Tamara Liddle is to immediately return her keys and key FOB to the municipal offices; and
  3. Councillor Tamara Liddle is not to access the municipal offices except to attend at the Front Desk to pick up her Council packages or make bill payments and to attend Council Chambers via the public entrance; and
  4. Councillor Tamara Liddle is not to enter the interior of the municipal offices for any purpose without prior authorization from Council; and
  5. To carry out her role as a Councillor, Councillor Tamara Liddle is permitted to attend all Council meetings, Policy Meetings, Corporate Planning Meetings and any special meetings of Council but will not be permitted to travel on municipal business and be reimbursed by the Municipality for any expenses incurred; and
  6. Councillor Tamara Liddle is hereby removed from all committees that she has previously been appointed to; and
  7. Councillor Tamara Liddle will not act as Deputy Mayor; and
  8. Councillor Tamara Liddle is to cease all harassing behaviour against CAO, Chris Wray, forthwith; and
  9. Gerry Liddle is to cease all harassing behaviour against CAO, Chris Wray, forthwith; and
  10. Gerry Liddle is hereby removed as Chair of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee and will not be a member of that committee or any other committee with the Municipality of Wawa; and
  11. All communication between Gerry Liddle and the Municipality must be solely by email to an email address to be provided. No other form of communication shall be permitted nor responded to; and
  12. Gerry Liddle shall not have any direct or indirect communication with Mr. Wray; and
  13. Gerry Liddle shall immediately cease holding himself out as in any way representing the Municipality.

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