No sanctions recommended for Caul

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

No sanctions will be imposed on Fort Frances Mayor June Caul for violating the Municipal Code of Conduct because she acted with no malice but with the best interests of the town in mind.

The 24-page complaint, submitted by an anonymous person, accused Fort Frances Mayor June Caul of violating the Code of Conduct, abusing her powers, acting without council’s authorization and not conducting herself in a civil and respectful manner.

Paul S. Heayn, delegated integrity commissioner to the Town of Fort Frances, presented his findings to council during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

While Heayn found most of the complaints to be substantiated, he said events such as the retirement of the former CAO contributed to the mayor’s actions.

“Most of the accusations submitted by the complainant are substantiated,” Heayn said. “What is not documented is the miscreant actions of Mayor Caul were done with no malice but with the best interests of the town in mind.”

An example of a substantiated complaint was the mayor acting as the CAO, in which Caul said that she was asked by council to act in the CAO position along with administration.

“The Mayor has no role in the administrative side of the operations,” Heayn wrote in the report. “The CAO, or the acting CAOs should be consulted and relied on to carry out their duties under the Council/Staff relations policy.”

The complaint also cites another incident where the mayor spoke with economic development officer Tannis Drysdale and allegedly “accused the senior staff of the BWFMC of withholding material information from Council about the eSFL.”

“At no time was Mayor Caul authorized to make this statement by Council nor was she otherwise empowered to do so under the Agreement with RRFDC, who hire and direct the staff of the BWFMC,” the complaint reads.

Heayn found this item to be partly substantiated and partly unsubstantiated. Heayn interviewed Drysdale, and according to her, the mayor was hostile and was very concerned about their performance and implied that BWFMC had an agenda separate from the town’s.

Caul also denies asking for resignations, as the complaint alleges.

In coming to his conclusion, Heayn interviewed several senior staff members, including Caul, former CAO Doug Brown, economic development officer Tannis Drydale and Boundary Waters Forest Management Corporation president Michael Willick.

Caul was given the opportunity to respond to Heayn and ask him questions. However, she only made the following statement.

“I just want to thank Mr. Heayn for his work on this. I appreciate his comments and his suggestions. Other than that, I have no comment,” said Caul during Monday night’s meeting.