The affair between Mayor Matt Brown and Councillor Maureen Cassidy continues to have ripple effects at city hall.
Newly released expense documents reveal Councillor Cassidy billed nearly $1,100 while planning to attend June’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in Winnipeg to campaign for a seat on their board of directors.
Cassidy ended up withdrawing from the conference and taking a leave of absence just days before the trip. Soon afterwards, her affair with Mayor Matt Brown was made public.
Just hours after taxpayers learned they were still on the hook for the registration fee and the cost of campaign buttons on Wednesday morning, Cassidy cut a cheque to reimburse the city.
Councillor Phil Squire points out that Councillor Harold Usher had been on the board of directors at the FCM for five years before Mayor Brown put forward Cassidy’s name.
“This is what you run into when the personal leaks into the public and I think it’s important for people to know that,” says Squire.
“My point is that in this particular case, personal actions directly led to the loss of a position that the city held on the board of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.”
Squire adds that the affair remains the elephant in the room at City Hall.
“I’ve talked to a number of my colleagues, they’re certainly not in the state of mind they were in before this happened. We were positive, we were moving forward on a bunch of projects. Now, we’re sort of going back and second-guessing all the decisions we made. We’re being sort of put into a category of councils in the past whose integrity has been questioned and that’s all very difficult for us.”
London’s departure from the FCM Board came in the midst of City Hall’s efforts to land $375 million in federal funding to build a new rapid transit system.
With files from Natalie Lovie.