What a dysfunctional attempt at Machiavellian intrigue is going on in the shadows at City Hall in Cornwall.
At root is what appears to be the Mayor and CAO throwing Clerk Manon Levesque under the bus for not issuing a final certificate with spending limits for the municipal election that Mayor Bernadette Clement has admitting to personally overspending by a whopping 29%! (about 2,000 or so electors!)
The formula, which all candidates were aware of was quite clear. For mayor it was $7,500.00 plus .20 cents per elector.
Ms Clement is a lawyer allegedly by day. Her multiple time campaign manager, Etienne Saint Aubin, is one as well.
Documents show that Mr. Saint Aubin asked the clerk in August about the spending limits and she replied with the $7,500.00 plus .20 cent formula, but what was released today was the motion in council that was SECONDED by councilor Clement at the time in 2018!
Surely you can’t say you weren’t aware of the spending formula of a motion you seconded, can you?
Let this saturate in for a moment. Take a deep breath. Drink some tea….
While the clerk didn’t send Ms Clement a certificate, as she was supposed to; she sent the formula to Ms. Clement’s team in August and Ms Clement seconded the motion to accept and acknowledge the change to spending limits!
While the clerk, by her own admission, didn’t send the certificate with the final number; Ms Clement’s team has been through multiple municipal campaigns and while Mr. Saint Aubin asked for info in August, not once did he ever send an email asking for the certificate.
What does this say about two lawyers who can’t manage such a basic budget? What did Ms Clement need to spend so much money on? Was it paying her friends to run her social media? Only she can answer those questions, but this isn’t a slight oversight. It’s gross neglect and abuse.
It’s like blowing a submission date when requested by an adjudicator or Judge.
Again, there is no follow up query from the Clement team? No follow up questions or requests for any information or certificate as allegedly at least one other candidate requested.
In her statement Ms Clement acknowledges changes; changes she seconded in the motion at council. Surely with a well paid team and she and her campaign manager being LAWYERS, knowing that there’s a new act, they’d have asked Madame Clerk for said certificate? That they didn’t is on them as much if not more than on the clerk.
And interestingly enough as one local judge once commented when someone was complaining about not being served properly; it was pointed out to them that they were there in the court and clearly knew about the date of the hearing and were prepared to defend.
In this case the Clement team not only knew the formula, but Ms Clement herself seconded the motion to approve it!
You just can’t make this stuff up!
All of this info ironically enough is before the meeting Wednesday in council chambers of the ad hoc Audit Review Committee who certainly can only choose to send this to a judge.
Any other decision would be utter cretinous corruption. Because at the end of the day; the only question the committee has to ask is if this happened or not. It did. Bernadette Clement has admitted that. Now it has to be up to a judge in Superior Court to decide on the penalty, (or no penalty if Rick Leroy is the judge)
Because at the end of the day; while the clerk has now admitted to not sending out the certificate; we have a candidate who by mix of arrogance and ignorance spent 29% more than she was legally allowed.
That’s not a minor oopsie. Not even close. She and the clerk need to both be held responsible for this, as perhaps does CAO Maureen Adams.
The meeting is at 5PM at City Hall and is open to the public Wednesday May 15, 2019.