Potential investigation of Mark MacDonald shut down in council vote

Councillor Mark A. MacDonald. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall City Council has defeated a motion to hire an integrity commissioner to investigate emailed comments by Coun. Mark MacDonald.

The motion was defeated with Coun. Mark MacDonald abstaining from the vote. Coun. Justin Towndale is away. Couns. Denis Carr, Maurice Dupelle, Andre Rivette and Dave Murphy voted against the hiring. An abstention is considered a vote against a motion.

In stating his case, MacDonald apologized if he “hurt your feelings” but truly felt that he didn’t violate the city’s code of conduct. He also called the process and its associated cost a “colossal waste of time.”

MacDonald had repeatedly called some of his council cohorts “hypocrites” and “two-faced” for their votes on the municipal budget.

Coun. Claude McIntosh, who led the charge for an investigation, said he had “mixed feelings about the cost but if we’re going to have a code of conduct I think there should be a way to enforce it.”

Clerk Manon Levesque indicated the cost would have been “a couple of thousand dollars but no guarantees” that cost wouldn’t rise. Principles Integrity, the investigator of choice by Levesque, never intended to actually visit Cornwall for the investigation but would have done the work remotely, she said.