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Mayor Scott issues public apology to city councillor

PHOTO. Mayor Don Scott (left) issued a public apology to councillor Keith McGrath for his actions at the RMWB Council meeting on Oct. 22, 2019. The pair were involved in an incident during an in-camera meeting on June 25, 2019, where McGrath alleged the mayor used "profane language" and attempted to physically restrain him.

Mayor Scott made a public apology at the Oct. 22 council meeting.

The apology related to an incident on June 25, 2019, between him and councillor Keith McGrath.

Code of Conduct

RMWB Council observed the release of a report by the Integrity Commissioner.

Prior to its release, Mayor Scott temporarily vacated the room in keeping with standard practice.

Councillor McGrath, who was present for the meeting, soon followed.

However, he asked councillor Phil Meagher to inform the mayor and council he would not return due to poor health.

CAO Annette Antoniak voiced the report describing the incident at the closed-door meeting on June 25.

The report includes a formal complaint McGrath filed with the commissioner on July 4.

In his complaint, he alleged Mayor Scott directed profane language at him and attempted to physically restrain him from leaving the session.

The Integrity Commissioner launched an investigation into the matter and later ruled Mayor Scott’s actions contravened the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.

RMWB Council voted in favour of accepting the Integrity Commissioner’s conclusion the mayor violated the bylaw.

However, they defeated a secondary motion that would publicly reprimand Mayor Scott for his actions.

Public apology

Following the vote, Mayor Scott returned and issued a public apology to councillor McGrath, RMWB Council, municipal staff, and the public.

He also stated his intention to seek guidance in better managing his emotions.

Unaware councillor McGrath was not in attendance, he said he hopes his apology reached him via video feed.

“He may have been watching, and I’m not sure but I hope he was because I did deliver the apology directly to him, and that was important for me to do. I hope he did watch.”

Under instruction from the administration, Mayor Scott would not speak about the incident or the apology in detail.

However, he said he would release a statement to his social media accounts.

Council also revisited the motions to increase user fees and rates and to ban the practice of conversion therapy from Wood Buffalo.