Complaints dismissed against Cornwall mayor

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – An election compliance audit committee has dismissed two complaints against Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement over her personal contributions to her 2018 campaign.

In a written decision, the three-member committee found “no reasonable basis” to believe the personal contribution limits had intentionally been broken.

Clement revealed in a Facebook posting on April 17 that she had contributed $4,000 too much to her 2018 mayoral campaign due to an “inadvertent” error.

The committee decided that a further audit would not provide anything more that wasn’t already known, nor would it reveal any other violation or issue.

The panel agreed with the mayor’s characterization of an “inadvertent” error and also noted that the clerk, failing to provide the certificate for the contribution limit, also played a hand in the error. The self-contribution was “specifically induced by the failure of the Clerk to issue a certificate under section 88.9.1(4),” of the Municipal Elections Act.

It also felt that a prosecution would not be in the best interest of the public. The committee added that it would specifically decline legal action against the mayor based on all the reasons in its decision.