third-party investigation

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Municipality of Temagami

February 03, 202103 February 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Temagami to discuss the findings of an integrity commissioner investigation and harassment investigations. The Ombudsman found that the personal matters exception applied to part of the discussion because it included information related to the conduct of members of the public and  municipal employees who were the subject of the investigation. This information was personal information. The part of the discussion that related to the conduct of council members in their professional capacity did not reveal anything inherently personal about them and did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Municipality of Temagami

February 03, 202103 February 2021
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Temagami to discuss the findings of an integrity commissioner investigation and harassment investigations. The meeting was closed under the solicitor-client advice exception. During the meeting the integrity commissioner and an investigator presented their findings to council. The Ombudsman found that this information was not provided by a lawyer and does not qualify as legal advice. However, the information supplied by the investigator and integrity commissioner was received in relation to council seeking legal guidance on how to respond to the investigations’ findings and was necessary to discuss the issues meaningfully. It would not be reasonable for council to parse its discussion. Therefore, the discussion fit within the solicitor-client advice exception.  

Township of Tehkummah

April 18, 201818 April 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting of council for the Township of Tehkummah, relying on the personal matters exception to discuss an ongoing third-party workplace investigation relating to an employee. During the discussion, council deliberated about whether the best course of action would be to suspend the staff member pending the completion of the workplace investigation. The Ombudsman found that a discussion to change employment status or job performance of an individual staff member constitutes personal information. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the personal matters exceptions.

Township of Tehkummah

April 18, 201818 April 2018

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting of council for the Township of Tehkummah, relying on the personal matters exception to discuss an ongoing third-party workplace investigation relating to an employee. Council’s discussion centered on the employment status of an identifiable staff member. While not cited by the township, the Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the labor relations exception.

City of Greater Sudbury

January 20, 201720 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed three closed meetings held by council for the City of Greater Sudbury to discuss an investigation regarding a contract between the city and a transit ticket kiosk. The closed meetings relied on the personal matters exception. During the discussion, council received a third party investigation report which included information about employee conduct. The Ombudsman found that council’s scrutiny of employee conduct was personal in nature. Therefore, the discussions fit within the personal matters exception.

City of Greater Sudbury

January 20, 201720 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed two closed meetings held by council for the City of Greater Sudbury that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss transit tickets in the municipality. During the discussion, council received a third-party investigation report that included information about employee negligence and conduct. Council also received written legal advice from the municipality’s solicitor about the report. The Ombudsman found that the discussions fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.

Town of Amherstburg

November 20, 201520 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg to discuss an external investigator’s report into health and safety concerns raised by municipal employees. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. Council discussed the conduct of a staff member and discussed how to address the issues raised in the report. During the discussion, the external investigator provided general information about health and safety requirements, but this advice was interspersed with comments about specific individual employees. The Ombudsman found that it was unrealistic to expect council to parse this portion of the discussion to exclude references to related or background information. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.