CORNWALL, Ontario - Mayor Bob Kilger said Tuesday his lawyers suggest he is not in a conflict of interest with respect to personnel discussions city council has held behind closed doors.
But, in an attempt to eliminate complications for the balance of council, Kilger said he will continue to recuse himself from further discussions concerning these "specific" personnel matters.
"I sought and have received independent legal advice from the national law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon," the mayor said. "The advice I have received is that I am not, and have not been, in a conflict of interest situation with respect to the matters discussed at these in-camera meetings."
City council held in-camera, or private, meetings on Feb. 11 and 19 to discuss personnel issues.
"I did not attend the Feb. 19 meeting and I recused myself from a portion of the Feb. 11 meeting while these matters were discussed because I wanted to obtain independent legal advice as to whether I was in a conflict of interest," Kilger said. "If I was in a conflict of interest situation with respect to the matters discussed at these meetings, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act states that, because I was absent from the one meeting, I must declare that conflict at the next regular meeting of council."
Because of his lawyers' advice, Kilger did not have to delcare a conflict at the Feb. 25 meeting, he said.
"While I accept my lawyer’s advice that there is no conflict of interest, I do not intend to participate in any of council’s future consideration of these specific matters because I would like council to deal with these matters with as few complications as possible," said Kilger, who added he will not be submitting to media requests for more information on the subject.