A new Code of Conduct investigation into three of Chestermere’s councillors has been ordered by City of Chestermere Council.

Council voted 4-to-1 to hire a 3rd party to conduct the investigation following an in-camera session during a Special Council Meeting convened on July 26. 2022.

Council voted to.

I) Direct the administration to hire a 3rd party investigator regarding a Facebook posting by Councillor Ritesh Narayan.

II) Direct the administration to hire a 3rd Party Investigator to look into a letter published in the Chestermere Anchor that was penned and signed by Councillor Ritesh Narayan, Councillor Shannon Dean, and Councillor Sandy Johal-Watt.

III) Direct the administration to hire a 3rd Party investigator to review certain documentation that was released by Councillor Ritesh Narayan, Councillor Shannon Dean, and Councillor Johal-Watt.

“This investigation is necessary to ensure that all council members have and will abide by a code of conduct that will not disrupt or interfere with the other investigations that have been ordered by council,” said Mayor Jeff Colvin.

Colvin added, “It is imperative that all these investigations and others to be announced soon will be carried out in an impartial manner, without undue influence and outside pressure by any of the parties involved.”

“If a contravention is established, measures taken will be proportionate to the nature and circumstances of the contravention and where appropriate, be educative and remedial for all council members and staff.”

The City of Chestermere has recently also ordered investigations into:

i) Employee pay-out packages amounting to almost $600,000 given to two staff members who resigned – in violation of the city’s policy that says the council must approve payments over $75,000.00.

ii) Financial irregularities at Chestermere Utilities Inc. (1538974 Alberta Ltd).

“We are fully supportive of the on-going provincial inspection into the city’s governance, policies, and practices. In fact, shortly after we took office in November of 2021, we were concerned by what we had uncovered and brought the information directly to Minister Ric McIver at Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Office, and since that time, the Municipal Inspector has requested the relevant information be supplied to him," said Mayor Jeff Colvin.

Details of the financial irregularities and employee pay-out packages have been passed on to Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs for their provincial inspection. This process began in November 2021, shortly after the current council was elected to office and prior to the announcement of the provincial inspection by Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

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