Samson changes mind on meetings mid-news conference

Councillor Gerald Samson takes questions from reporters during a news conference Oct. 20 outside city hall. (Cornwall Newswatch)

CORNWALL – As quickly as a news conference on a rain-soaked Pitt Street began, it ended with councillor Gerald Samson heading into a closed-door meeting at city hall.

Circled by a couple of candidates for council and reporters just before the 4 p.m. meeting, Samson said he would no longer sit in on closed-door meetings.

“I am appalled by yet another whistleblower coming forward and stating that she has been treated unfairly by council and administration,” Samson told reporters.

“I have not and refuse to be involved in any matters…legal suits…and have the finger pointed at me any more,” he said. “All these complaints happened prior to my arrival.”

But when asked by Cornwall Newswatch whether staying out of the closed-door meeting would affect any vote on a settlement, Samson quickly changed his mind.

“So what do you feel? You feel that I should be there?,” he asked reporters. When it was explained to the councillor that not being in the meeting could affect a final vote on a settlement, he responded “That’s true I hadn’t considered that.”

Samson then headed into city hall.

A source tells the Seaway News the council was meeting in private to decide on a settlement not exceeding $250,000 in the Diane Shay case. Shay had a $425,000 civil suit before the courts as of this spring.

Before leaving, the councillor said he will order a complete investigation into the latest allegation from Julie Johnston. She’s a Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge RN, who released an open letter Friday, detailing patient care and strained relationships between staff and management at the Montreal Road long-term care home.

Thumbs Up(0)Thumbs Down(0)