Should B.C. have a recall process for municipal politicians?

Poll: Municipal recall

Ground rules put in place behind the scenes at Kamloops city hall are receiving mixed reviews after a third-party investigator found Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson repeatedly used his office to threaten the job of the city’s CAO and attempted to influence other municipal hiring decisions.

In February of 2023, the City of Kamloops retained a lawyer from a Vancouver firm to conduct a third-party investigation after an incident in which staff overheard a loud argument between the mayor and a councillor at city hall.

An internal workplace investigation followed, and the city’s human resources director subsequently identified the need for an external third-party investigation.

The investigator, Terry Honcharuk of the Integrity Group, looked into allegations of “unlawful and/or inappropriate conduct” on the part of the mayor, made by four city employees — including city CAO David Trawin.

The confidential investigative report, which has been obtained by Castanet Kamloops, concluded Hamer-Jackson’s behaviour violated city council's code of conduct on a number of occasions.

Certain measures have since been put in place restricting how the mayor communicates with Trawin and a handful of other city staffers.

Mayor’s behaviour called ‘aggressive'

Honcharuk found Hamer-Jackson violated the code on eight occasions between November of 2022 and April of 2023 in relation to his interactions with Trawin. The report said the mayor was “offensive, demeaning, insulting or abusive” to Trawin, and displayed “aggressive action that was threatening to Mr. Trawin’s job security.”

The investigator also determined that Hamer-Jackson suggested having a city councillor’s son, who works in the city’s community services department, transferred to Kamloops Fire Rescue in an attempt to influence council votes.

Hamer-Jackson admittedly also attempted to have one of his supporters and campaign workers hired as co-CAO, another effort that is detailed in Honcharuk’s report.

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