Integrity Commissioner Says Gravenhurst Councilor Acted In Best Interest Of The Public
An investigation following a complaint of a possible conflict of interest involving Gravenhurst Councillor Jo Morphy and the Gravenhurst Against Poverty (GAP) organization has resulted in a recommendation for clarification.
The complaint alleged Morphy had participated in a decision to which they had a pecuniary interest in relating to a grant for $3,800 for Gravenhurst Against Poverty. The issue being that it was believed that the councillor was a member of GAP.
After a lengthy investigation, the Integrity Commissioner concluded that while Councillor Morphy had an affinity for the organization, she was not classified as a member of the organization and therefore, “she was still able to act in the best interest of the public as per her duties as a counsellor under the Municipal Conflict of interest Act.”
The commissioner added, “Councillor Morphy did not fall short of her ethical obligations,” while taking part in the discussion during a past council meeting.
Under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, if a council member has a pecuniary interest in a community group or organization (where they may benefit personally from a council decision) they would be disqualified from the decision-making process in regards to discussions or requests for funding or support.
Integrity Commissioner Suzanne Craig explains, “from the time they are sworn into office, councillors are considered aware of their ethical obligations and duties under the MCIA.”
By Jennifer Turney, for HuntersBayRadio.com