Councillor faces no reprimand after breaking confidentiality provisions

Regina city council voted not to reprimand or censure Coun. Andrew Stevens after he broke the city’s Code of Ethics bylaw.

Alternate Integrity Commissioner Randy Langaard recommended that Stevens face censure or reprimand for disclosing the confidential report attached and provide a written apology to Councillor Terina Nelson.

Council disagreed as they voted in favour of Coun. Dan LeBlanc motion to not levy any punishment.

“This was a technical breach. He was at the least careless,” he said. “I suspect Councillor Stevens is now very careful with the ‘reply-all’ function on his email.”

Coun. John Findura said it was time to move on.

“We need to put this behind us. We need to get back to respecting each other for what we do, how we think,” he said. “It’s done. I want to move on. I don’t want to deal with this anymore. We have many other issues to deal with that are more important.”

Stevens was found violating the Code of Ethics Bylaw after he contravened its confidential provisions.

That happened after Integrity Commissioner Angela Kirk sent a confidential report to Councillor Stevens and Nelson.

The email alluded to a different report to be considered by the Executive Committee. The subject matter to be dealt with was related to other allegations against Councillor Nelson by Councillor Stevens that Kirk determined were sustainable.

Within minutes of receiving the email, Councillor Stevens used the “Reply to All” function to send his own email in response. In doing so, he was responding to all members of the City Council, as well as the Acting City Clerk, Acting City manager, and the City Solicitor. In his email, Stevens questioned why the report was being considered by the Executive Committee and attacked the Confidential Report.

Stevens admitted to sending the email and stated in the alternate Integrity Commissioners report that it was only intended for the City Solicitor.

Stevens goes on to say that it was “in error” that he sent it to the other parties and that he regretted it immediately. He also refers to it as a “lapse in judgement,” but once caused by the frustration he experienced with the complaint process.

This was the second time a councillor was found to break the code of ethics and not face punishment. Coun. Nelson received a similar vote when she previously violated the bylaw.

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