Patrice Cormier, of the legal firm, Julien & Cormier, presented council during its February 13 session with a two-page summary report of the past two years of investigations by two previous integrity commissioners and also by the town’s own legal counsel of harassment complaints by members of municipal staff against Paula Assaly during her term as mayor of Hawkesbury.
Cormer’s firm was asked by the municipality’s current integrity commissioner Jean-Jacques Lacombe to conduct the review. The work involved examining the original 2020 investigation report of then-integrity commissioner John Saywell, then the two follow-up reports in 2021 by acting-integrity commissioner Valery M’Garry, and finishing with the 2022 review by Sophie Martel of the legal firm, Rubin Thomlinson LLP.
The Cormier summary noted the sanctions imposed on Assaly during her term in office as a result of the original integrity commission reports. Cormier recommended that council require the former mayor to provide a letter of apology to the person or persons who filed the original harassment complaint and that an official letter of reprimand be placed in the former mayor’s personnel file.
Council voted to accept the Cormier report for later discussion.