Prevost takes six month unpaid leave

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Update 3 p.m. Friday: Story has been updated to show United Counties of SD&G has passed a motion that Prevost will no longer serve as warden, given the timeline of his leave of absence.

LANCASTER – South Glengarry Mayor Frank Prevost will take a six month unpaid leave of absence from his duties as he faces sex-related criminal charges.

Following a private meeting this morning, South Glengarry council “approved the request from Mayor Frank Prevost” in a recorded vote during an open session after the 11 a.m. meeting.

Prevost was charged this week with three counts of luring a child after an undercover OPP investigation, plus one additional count of sexual assault in a separate police investigation.

Coun. Stephanie Jaworski appeared emotional, her voice cracking, as each councillor was asked for their vote in a recorded vote. All voted yes.

The leave will take effect immediately.

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden addressed the public prior to the vote in a prepared statement.

“It is acknowledged that this is a very difficult time for staff, council and members of the public. Council under the Municipal Act has no authority to demand Mayor Prevost’s resignation, nor is there any mechanism to remove a sitting member of council,” Warden said.

Warden added that the situation may cause “significant upset” to community members and municipal staff and reminded all that counselling resources will be available.

The move was described as being in the best interest of staff and the residents and would allow day-to-day government operations to continue to be the focus.

The United Counties of SD&G held a closed door meeting that started at 1 p.m.

Just before 3 p.m., the meeting moved to open session where council unanimously passed a motion that Prevost will “no longer (be) eligible to fulfill the requirements as a sitting member of a county council for the duration of the leave (leave of absence) and will no longer serve as warden of the council of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry,” Acting Warden Lyle Warden read.

The motion was moved by Coun. Kirsten Gardner (South Dundas) and seconded by Coun. Jamie MacDonald (North Glengarry).

Council will figure out how to fill the seat at a future meeting. In the meantime, the acting warden will lead council meetings, which is on a rotating basis.

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