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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Owen Sound Deputy Mayor Vindicated by Integrity Commissioner

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Report concludes Brian O'Leary had no conflicts of interest with council matters concerning Mudtown Station.

Owen Sound's integrity commissioner has found Deputy Mayor Brian O'Leary had no conflicts of interest with any council matters relating to the restaurant Mudtown Station.

Principles Integrity delivered its findings at yesterday's council meeting into a complaint filed in Sept. 2018 regarding concerns about then Coun. O'Leary's participation in matters before city council dealing with the former CP Railway Station building turned brewpub on 1st Avenue East.

You may recall back in Oct. 2018, City Manager Wayne Ritchie held a press conference to defend the city's handling of the former CP rail property while dismissing conflict of interest concerns raised about a senior city staff member and O'Leary.

The integrity commissioner's report explains the complaint it investigated involved three allegations of conflict of interest concerning O'Leary: His participation in an April 2017 council decision to lease the CP Railway Station to Mudtown Station Inc., decisions by city staff to include Mudtown Station in various promotional materials and a Sept. 2018 motion he moved concerning the 10th Street Bridge replacement to look into a 5th lane alternative the complainant claimed would cause re-routed traffic to pass directly in front of Mudtown Station.

The integrity commissioner's report explains O'Leary had no conflicts of interest whatsoever.

"I think the integrity commissioner did a good job. And when the investigation was complete they told us what I already knew," O'Leary says. "I  appreciate the work they went through and I'm glad it's over. And I certainly appreciate the supportive comments from the rest of council tonight."

Coun. Travis Dodd was one of the councillors to offer supportive words to O'Leary following the integrity commissioner's report, raising discontent the deputy mayor had to face personal attacks to his reputation because of the Mudtown Station ordeal.

"As any elected official who's just trying to make the community they live in a better place tomorrow than it is today, sometimes those are hard things to take," Dodd says. "Especially when you look and see there's been no conflicts."
 

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