Joey Coleman: How to file a complaint with the City of Hamilton Integrity Commissioner

How to file a complaint with the City of Hamilton Integrity Commissioner

UPDATE: As of January 3, 2012, The City of Hamilton now offers this information on their new Integrity Commissioner webpage
[box style=”box_gray” type=”download_box”]Updated – download a .doc format of the complaint form:
Complaint under section 9 of the Integrity Commissioner By-law[/box]
For a $100 application fee, the Citizens of Hamilton are able to seek redress for grievances caused by the misbehaviour of any member of our City Council including the Mayor.

This is topical following the latest “misunderstanding” from the Mayor’s Office.

City Council decided to not sanction the Mayor for his statements that a $30,000/yr pay raise for the Mayor’s Chief of Staff was a decision of the bureaucracy. In fact, the decision was made solely by the Mayor and/or his office.

City Councillors are requesting citizens to file complaints to the Integrity Commissioner. The complaint fee is $100 per filing and the fee is refunded if the Commissioner rules the complaint valid.

To file a complaint, citizens must submit an affidavit to the City Clerk after filling out Appendix A of By-Law No. 08-154 – The Office of the Integrity Commissioner.

To find the form, one must first know that it’s Appendix A of By-Law 08-154. There is no page on the City of Hamilton website for the Integrity Commissioner and no page offering assistance in filing a complaint. In fact, the search for “integrity commissioner complaint” and similar searches provide no link to a complaint form or process.

To find the form, one must:

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The form is in PDF and on page 13 of the bylaw. Once a complainant completes the form, they must find a Commissioner of Oaths to swear the affidavit in front of.

If one is mailing their document to City Hall, it is likely one will have to pay a barrister or solicitor to witness. At City Hall, the City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk can witness. Also, any member of City Council may serve as the Commissioner by virtue of their office.

Filing at City Hall is done at the Clerks service desk on the first floor.

Once filed, the Integrity Commissioner will consider the complaint.

The Integrity Commissioner can impose a reprimand or pay suspension of up to three months against the Mayor if the Commissioner rules this to be a valid complaint and the Mayor did in fact violate the Code of Conduct with his “misstatements”.

If the Commissioner decides the complaint is in good faith and reasonable, the complainant will receive their $100 fee refunded.

Update: 19 Dec 11

The Deputy Clerk of the City of Hamilton emailed me a copy of the form in .doc format.
Appendix_A_to_Item_9_of_COW_Integrity_By-law_doc-48143-1