Leslie O’Shaughnessy Finally Explains Why He Resigned from Kilger Council in Cornwall Ontario

Leslie O’Shaughnessy Finally Explains Why He Resigned from Kilger Council in Cornwall Ontario

leslie jan 2012CFN -It’s highly rare for a City Councilor to step down under the circumstances that Leslie O’Shaughnessy chose to.

Below is the letter he has released to finally address a tiny minute amount of why he made that decision.  We are releasing it in its entirety although we are highlighting sections below and adding pictures.

 

WITHOUT PREJUDICE
For immediate release.

As most are aware, I resigned my position as an elected member of City Council on April 10, 2012. On April 4, 2012 I met with the city solicitor to outline my reasons for my untimely departure and to explain my concerns for the way the people’s business was being conducted. At that meeting I voluntarily indicated to him that I would not make a public statement giving the reasons for submitting my resignation. I did this to protect the integrity of work that Council was about to begin.

fitzy praying

This work was to be conducted behind closed doors and the estimated time for completion was June 2012; however, unforeseen circumstances extended the time frame. I now understand that the work has been completed or at least advanced to the stage that will allow me to provide my statement.

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The comments that I will be making are mine and mine alone and should not be considered as those of any other member of Council nor should it call into question their integrity or their commitment to the people that they represent. As individuals we set our own level of understanding of what “accountability” and “transparency” means…because my understanding may be different, it should not and does not make mine right nor theirs wrong.

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The simple answer to the question of why I resigned is that I felt that I could no longer be accountable for the decisions that were being made during closed door meetings. 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.

Bob n Fitzy May 14 2012
While sitting as a Member of Council from December 11, 2010 until April 10, 2012, I literally spent more time conducting the people’s business in closed sessions than in meetings that were open to the public.

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In December of 2010 I was made aware that an envelope addressed to me was dropped off at City Hall, and was withheld at the direction of another Council member. I later learned that this happened twice. Subsequent to this event, I received a copy by email.

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In January 2011 I was asked to make a decision on whether the City of Cornwall should plead guilty or not guilty to charges filed by MOHLTC against the City, regarding retaliation against a whistleblower that came forward over an issue at GSDL. I was not provided any written documentation or recommendation from administration to make this decision, and I was also told that there was no documentation (dating back to 2008-2009 when the incident occurred) that I could review to help me understand what happened. I was then given the opportunity to ask any questions that I might have to Legal Counsel that was in attendance.  I had no knowledge of the issue, no information, no recommendation from staff, no written legal opinion to review – only individual verbal accounts of what happened that were inconsistent…and Council was advised that it had to make a decision that night.

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As you are well aware Council voted to plead not guilty – to this day I am still confused as to how that decision was made.

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Over the next eight months, while dealing with the issues surrounding this case, there were never any written reports or recommendations from administration, provided.

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In April, May and June of 2011 I began walking out of closed sessions and refused to vote on any issues that did not have accompanying reports. I believe that 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?
In September, and only after I had a meeting with a Council member and an individual from administration, I was assured that all closed door issues would be presented to Council with a report and recommendation.

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The first such report and recommendation provided to Council was in regards to the escalating legal costs associated to the charges brought forward by the Ministry. Council, in a public release, indicated that they would be changing their plea to guilty because of costs… I agreed to change our plea, not because of cost, but because I had become convinced that the City of Cornwall was guilty. The City of Cornwall plead guilty to a statement of facts and none of those facts were related to cost.  

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October, November, and December was probably the most disappointing period in my political career. After receiving court documents relating to the court proceedings Council began another round of closed door meetings.  

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During these meetings I witnessed continuous neglect of the Ontario Municipal Act, direction given by Council not followed, and direct political and administrative interference occurred pertaining to motions passed by Council. The most disturbing issue was the realization that legal advice received in January 2011, in my mind, became questionable. It is my opinion that the City of Cornwall may not have been represented in accordance with the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), that lawyers are required to follow. I am also aware that a complaint was filed with the LSUC in regards to this case and I know for fact there will be another filed in due time.

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In December of 2011 during an interview with Le Journal I publically apologized to the whistleblower in this case, Mrs. Diane Shay, for the political and administrative abuse I felt she had suffered.  At that time I was also considering my resignation, but decided to wait to see if things would change. They did not.

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From January until April 10, 2012 things did not improve, as a matter of fact things got much worse.  I found out on a media website that the City of Cornwall was threatening legal action against that media website, and as a member of Council, I was unaware of this. In a closed session, I was witness to an individual Council member being singled out and intimidated by some members of Council for doing what every member should do… inform the public.

.andre

This councillor fought back…the public knows who that Councillor is, it was ruled by the city integrity commissioner that he had done nothing wrong. This Councillor’s family, friends, and supporters, and in fact every rate payer in the city of Cornwall, should be proud of the contribution this man has made and continues to make to his community.

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Recently I was provided the opportunity to voice my concerns, and vent my frustration in an interview that was confidential. The interview lasted seven hours. There is so much more I would like to say publically, and to explain fully all the concerns that I have, but I must be guarded on my comments because everything that led to my resignation happened behind closed doors .Upon release of this statement I will have fulfilled my promise to explain my reasons for leaving Council and as of today I have finished this chapter of my life and will move on.

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In closing I would like to inform the media that I will not be granting any interviews or offering any further comments at this time. I have returned to my private and business life and wish everyone the very best as we move forward.

Regards,
Leslie O’Shaughnessy

We will be updating this story shortly.  In the meanwhile what do you think CFN viewers?   You can post your comments below.

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41 Comments on "Leslie O’Shaughnessy Finally Explains Why He Resigned from Kilger Council in Cornwall Ontario"

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mariah
Guest

Wow Thanks for bringing this to the public,shamefull closed door meetings Conflicks of interests.This is a dogs breakfast hurling out of control,mayor bobble head has to go!!! Sooner than later

Stan
Member

Thank you Mr.Shaughnessy for your candor. Everyone can see you are a person of great integrity. In a future election, should you run for Mayor, I will vote for you. Also thanks to CFN for bringing this sad state of affairs to the citizens of Cornwall and area.

Darcy Neal
Member

Leslie O’Shaughnessy, please accept my greatest respect being offered to you from me. I wish you all the peace, happiness, abundance and harmony that you can achieve in your private social and enterprising life. Good luck in all your endeavours.

Reg Coffey
Member

The evidence keeps piling up. How can the mayor even go out in public without hanging his head in shame? It’s time for him and the other compliant bully councilors to resign. Cornwall needs a clean sweep, a big flush, and waiting for the next election is too long. Letting the council to continue on is just allowing them to compound their contempt for the law and disrespect for the taxpayers.

stellabystarlight
Guest

Mr. O’Shaughnessy thank-you for your honesty and professionalism.

It seems you are giving up on politics which is too bad. We find ourselves on the losing end in your decision. Who knows, perhaps you will give it some thought in the future. Your return to political life would be advantageous to all but of course we realize how thankless, hectic and time consuming it can be.

Best of luck to you and family Leslie!!!

Dave Windsor
Guest
Honourable, thoughtful presentation Leslie. This city, as well, have suffered a major loss, THAT OF YOUR DEDICATION TO APPROPRIATE, TIMELY, ÈLEGALÈ BEHAVIOR, The requirements to be followed as per councils decisions that were not followed is appalling. Thank you Leslie for your openness in as much as you could. You and a few others can hold your heads high and proud. With all that this media has been covering in the past number of months, vindication is surely theirs. The question now is will those potential advertisers come back or will it remain honour among thieves mentality. Tarnishing the word… Read more »
Dave Windsor
Guest

Please note a typo in my letter of 12:29. My computer had been set in French type mode. Therefore when I really want a ‘, I get an è or È instead as in the 1st paragraph it shows in error a ÈLEGALÈ while the true intent was to say ‘legal’.

Thanks for you realization.

Dave

Mike Bedard
Member

FINALLY!!!

This is a clear example of what we need! The OLD BOYS Club needs a good swift kick in the pants!!!!

I wasn’t going to run in the next election due to personal commitments but this truly inspires me to atleast run and make sure the voters don’t forget how blindly misguided and supported this council truly has become!

Blind obedience to bad leadership is not patriotism, it is reinforcing corruption!

Thank You,
Mike Bedard

reality check
Guest

Leslie O’Shaughnessy for mayor hell no is that pope position filled yet. No reason to doubt him closed door or not !!!

jules
Guest
As always I am on Leslie O’Shaughnessey’s side on this matter and others and as always André Rivette who has fought and continues to fight for the people of Cornwall as usual. There isn’t enough praise given to André and others who fight so hard for the citizens of Cornwall. Who needs 10 councellors for such a tiny town when bigger cities do with less. This is rediculous to pay 10 councellors when you only need 5 to 7 at tops. Jamie replaces that dirty rag that I make fun of calling it “Cornwall’s toilet paper of record” and believe… Read more »
Wow!
Guest

That’s all he can say? This situation is obviously becoming more litigious. {MODERATED} you city council! You are all getting voted out. In particular the voodoo maven and the chicken lady and the grumpy old dudes.

shelley boisvenue
Guest

kudo’s to you for stepping forward and doing what you saw was the right thing, Leslie O’Shaughnessy , its too bad you felt the need to resign, we could so use more honest people like you on our council, and also to the “other” member. Thank you for telling us why you resigned, we as I well imagine your family is, are very proud of you. Now can we get rid of the “good old boys”???

David Oldham
Guest
Mr. O’Shaughnessy thank you for your honesty, integrity and follow through of your commitment to the taxpayers of Cornwall. I respect your level of understanding of what accountability means and that compromise has its limitations. The councilor your alluded to also seems to have discovered the means to be held in the same regard. As for the remaining members of council, questions are mounting as to their perceived commitment to accountability and transparency and their general regard for the taxpayers of Cornwall. Thank you again on your decision to distance yourself from a situation that at this time seems ultimately… Read more »
cornwalllaughter
Guest
What a bunch of bastards running this city. If it’s not time Cornwall to get everyone in this council out now, we deserve to lose even more. All along Kilger and company denied and denied some more in other words lied yet again to the taxpayers and cost us millions. Fitzpatrick out banging a co-worker on the taxpayers dime and he and her get a huge parting gift from the Mayor and this council. Disgusting, totally disgusting. How in the hell has people not been fired from the city, arrested? And further, this media was punished by that damb a-hole… Read more »
jules
Guest
More and more people have to get out there just about everyday and put this a$$hole to shame. I was thinking something very funny to post but Jamie won’t post it. LOL LOL. ROLF!!!! It goes to show you all what you have voted in all these years. If you think that voting alone is going to change things think again. It is going to take a great deal of people to get out there and get your pitchforks and all and chase the hell out of that thief and liar as head honcho of the crooks. Kilger is a… Read more »
HoldFast
Guest
What was that again? Jamie makes up stories, creates situation for a story? So much criticism of Jamie for wearing a t-shirt and fighting back and so few looking at the bigger picture. These advertisers who have pulled their adds with CFN need to wake up and realize this isn’t high school any more. Take a stand and don’t let people intimidate you into doing what they want. These people are doing exactly what they accuse Jamie of doing. They just wrap it up in a nicer package and do it behind closed doors! Great job getting the story Jamie.… Read more »
Lolochuck
Guest

RALLY @ City Hall, Monday March 25th at 6:30pm before the council meeting. OBJECTIVE Demanding Kilger’s resignation. Jules if you go I will treat you to Timmy’s afterwards! ALL ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND!!!

Bob Noble
Guest

As you know Leslie ..I have always respected you and your integrity. You today you took a giant leap for the citizens of Cornwall . I for one have EVEN INCREASED THE RESPECT THAT I HOLD FOR YOU .
All the best Leslie and thank you for your honest service .

One Against City Bulliers
Guest
One Against City Bulliers

Thanks Leslie! You have confirmed Kilger’s BAD!!!!!! Stand proud as we are all proud of you for speaking up. So many people are too afraid to speak the truth. You are a good man. Please consider running again once the garbage has been put to the curb!

jules
Guest
Lolochuck I wish to God that I was going to be in Cornwall with all of you. I am sick and tired of Bare Assed Kilger and his gang of thieves and liars. They are cowards and snakes in the grass. Lolochuck I thank you for your very kind offer and I would stand with you without the Tim’s just to get that dirty SOB out of office. My daughter said to me today if only we were living in Cornwall and she used to want to come back here and she admitted that and said that she wishes that… Read more »
root-root
Guest
and would you look at that, to this minute the freeholder still has yet to publish anything about this, cornwalldaily did, seaway news too, yet Claude and that crap loader did not. Hey Claude Mac what are you going to say now in your next pile of crap letter, that you were sorry?? I doubt it, but I am so happy you were made out to be the low-life jackass you really are. Take that trash Bob Peters with you next time you and Kilger are drinking at the sports bar, you can all drown your tears together knowing so… Read more »
Cory Cameron
Guest

Wow!

Thanks Mr. O’Shaughnessy for your honesty regarding why you left council.

And now, I would like to impart the following message to council:

“On with the show this is ittttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!”

Fredrick J Blalala
Guest

Given that this was the proper course of action in my opinion, where are the rest of the resignations? Surely there are others on council that don’t abide breaking the public trust?

Diddilyscwat
Guest

Time to pirogue council.

This council unbelievable, save two or three.

No wonder Andre doesn’t want to run again.

And to think one wants to lead the NDP?

One or two want to run for Mayor in next term.

One wants to manage her alter ego in Toronto.

The rest aught to hide with Gardner.

David Oldham
Guest
@ADMIN I certainly have no problem with the Mayor or councilors having other sources of income or participating in furthering other causes. I worked with Brian Sylvestor during his time as mayor of Cornwall. Brian readily admitted that being mayor of Cornwall was a part time job. Personally I wouldn’t be able to rest until I had secured employment for Cornwall residents that would support families and allow youth the opportunity for careers in their home town. But I digress. My issue is with conflicts of interest, self serving attitudes and general lack of respect given to taxpayers and I… Read more »
JUSTICE WILL COME
Guest
Leslie O’ Shaughnessy Well folks you have read what Leslie’s statement reveals to us about what was & or is going on @ City Hall & we can take out of it what we wish but a person would have to be very thick indeed to not realize that a big problem exists with our Mayor & many members of City Council . Many around that table appear to have been hiding ( cover up ) behind closed doors & making wrong decisions there . The two councilors that I’am very disappointed with are Bernadette Clement who is a Lawyer… Read more »
jules
Guest
I agree all the way with you Jamie (Admin) and I said it before is that you have to take out everyone including a lot of the city managers – all the tops have to go BYE BYES. This is the only way that things are going to change folks. We have no other recourse. Just getting rid of Bare Ass himself is not enough – you have to change the whole council and not have 10 counsellors but only 5 to 7 at tops for a tiny population. You need to stop sneeking in people who are not elected… Read more »
Diddilyscwat
Guest
Much a due about very little. Little said here is likely to be followed through. City hall and all involved have their backs up. Unless the council itself, a legally self moderating council, concedes the errors of their leaders and others ways of council, they WILL NOT gather together to remove said pigeons and hawks. Mark my words, unless the Mayor HIMSELF and or a few of the council members make the decision that the community would be best served by their resignation, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Outside influences can only do so much. The conflicts of interest, the… Read more »
Fredrick J Blalala
Guest

The mayor is an expert at cracking a whip, It was his job in parliament and I know patronage is a very sharp tool indeed. Cornwall needs to shuffle the deck and throw a few cards away as stated by many. The question is who will stand up for Cornwall taxpayers? Certainly not the people elected or appointed.

Miss Steak
Guest

I’ve been following the comments on this story in the Freeholder .
I am amazed to see how many have been removed or censored by admin. Your forum promotes honesty and discussion and is truly democratic. Bravo!

David Oldham
Guest
@FREDRICK J BLALALA On the question of who will stand up for Cornwall taxpayers? Perhaps a change in strategy is required for this community to move forward. Perhaps it is time to forgo electing career politicians who have become incredible adept at responding to questions rather simply providing the answer. Perhaps someone who truly understands the concept of what accountability to taxpayers means. Perhaps someone with the courage to speak the truth regarding necessary decisions for the community rather than promoting self serving legacies that divert monies from projects that would benefit the majority. Perhaps someone with a vision of… Read more »
JUSTICE WILL COME
Guest

Diddilysewat

Your comment= RE Leslie O’ Shaughnessy
” He will Not get in as Mayor should he choose to run ”
” Too many old timers do not appreciate a quitter ”

You are certainly entitled to your own opinion but calling
Leslie a quitter is in my opinion both untrue & uncalled for
( A low blow to a good man ) .

The old timers that you refer to are more likely to grasp &
understand & appreciate the high road that Leslie has remained
on & the information that he has so far given us .

David Oldham
Guest
@ ADMIN I was not suggesting that the mayors job was a part time position but rather sharing a fact that a former mayor held a full time position outside of his duties as Mayor of Cornwall. As for your question regarding use of influence and “how do you label that?” In a word, UNACCEPTABLE. The councilor should have been removed by way of a vote by his peers in council after a motion brought forward by a mayor with a backbone. A leader leads by example and tolerance of this type of behavior within the political arena equates to… Read more »
Diddlyscwat
Guest

JUSTICE WILL COME
March 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Diddilysewat

Your comment= RE Leslie O’ Shaughnessy
” He will Not get in as Mayor should he choose to run ”
” Too many old timers do not appreciate a quitter ”

Justice, we all agree with you. The comment is based on a specific statement to me,

We recognize also that our good friend Leslie O. has broad shoulders and has very likely ‘processed’ much more than that in his times as a politician.

You and I would continue to vote for him.

Thank you.

Smith
Guest
I am pretty perplexed as to why people are hailing Mr. Oshaughnessy as a saint. His resignation over the events outlined above are worth praise, but he also details many things that went on between December 11, 2010 and April 10, 2012 that he himself was compliant with. One example from above: If he was acting on principle he should have raised the issue of mail fraud being perpetrated at city hall the first time it occurred. He did not. It then happened twice more. What you have outlined is one too many straws that broke the camels back, not… Read more »
Diddlyscwat
Guest

More honor and vindication with Dian’s letter Leslie. More vindication for you, ‘our’ friend.

Diddlyscwat
Guest
Surprise, though Todd L. did not write them or maybe that is why the got written and bypassed him cause they slipped in on page 14 of this weeks Seaway News. OMG, Ed Allard and Scott McDonald allude to the same concerns we all have about our Cornwall smuck’s at city hall. Seems though that Ed has a hard time reconciling with Leslie O’s letter of explanation while Scott of Martintown, On. Suggests that even they have issues with Cornwall…commented…’The city of Cornwall needs a new voice, a clear voice, a people’s voice.’ then ‘This city is run the likes… Read more »
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