CORNWALL, Ontario – Former city councillor Leslie O’Shaughnessy is going public with his reasons for leaving the municipal body during this term.
O’Shaughnessy, who now wants to be mayor, is hosting a campaign launch Friday at 7 p.m. at the Ramada Inn.
In a media release sent Monday evening O’Shaughnessy indicated he would “provide more information” on why he left council in the middle of the last term.
When he left council O’Shaughnessy indicated that he resigned because, among other things, he claims he was lied to, and that information pertinent to political decisions was wilfully withheld.
The litany of accusations also centred on a 2011 whistleblowing case where the city was found guilty of retaliating against one of its employees and slapped with a $15,000 fine.
O’Shaughnessy further accused the city of spending too much time deliberating issues behind closed doors, and failing to record such dealings via adminstrative reports and the like.
“I felt that I could no longer be accountable for the decisions that were being made during closed-door meetings,” O’Shaughnessy said in a statement released at the time. “Without accountability there cannot be transparency.
“During my tenure on city council, I can show that I was lied to, that I had been mislead on various issues, and that information that was pertinent to the decision-making process was wilfully withheld.”
O’Shaughnessy began leaving in-camera meetings at city hall in 2011 when he argues there was a lack of administrative reports being filed to back up decisions being made by council behind closed doors.
“I literally spent more time conducting the people’s business in closed sessions than in meetings that were open to the public,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Reports are the lifeline for council because if accountability becomes an issue, there is a paper trail that contains the information that was used to make the decision… without supporting documentation, how can you defend that decision?”
His statement from March 2013 can be found here.
He is taking on incumbent Bob Kilger and political rookie Jamie Gilcig.