Comment 114869

By MichaelHealey (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2015 at 10:32:49

There are many aspects of this situation that are troubling - to say the least. In addition to those mentioned in this article and by @JesseBrown, there is the vote by the current council to "accept" a report by the Integrity Commissioner based on what most reasonable and objective people - including the Ontario Ombudsman - would consider a poorly executed investigation.

I would have expected a stronger response from council to this very debatable report. It strains credulity that anyone would consider an investigation anywhere complete when witnesses to the incident and one of the two primary participants (who is probably actually the victim of a serious transgression) were not interviewed.

Can you imagine that scenario being played out in a court of law:

investigator: "no your Honour, I only interviewed the alleged perpetrator" Judge: "Why didn't you interview the alleged victim?" Investigator: "Based on my interview with the alleged perpetrator, I had a gut feeling the alleged victim might have nefarious intentions" Judge: "Why didn't you interview any witnesses to the event" Investigator: "Ummm"

If we remove the politics and emotion from the situation - on a purely practical level - our tax dollars were spent producing a deficient report - and council "accepted" it without comment - WHY? Council could have rejected the report, not due to its findings, but due to it not meeting a reasonable standard of competency.

Was this expediency? Political whitewash? Retribution? Raises the question - in what other areas are council accepting substandard results?

I hope this issue won't "go away" until there is a full and impartial investigation and report on all aspects of this situation - including now the response of city staff, which seems prejudicial towards Joey Coleman.

Which then also raises another aspect to this issue, a contextual aspect. I haven't seen the results of the survey, but apparently 50% of city staff indicated in 2013 that they had felt bullied in the workplace. If this is true, that would be considered a key indicator of the workplace culture. As workplace culture is always a reflection of the behaviours and thinking of the most senior leadership in the organization - in this case that would be the mayor and council - by "accepting" a deficient report and by, at least tacitly, condoning a less than full investigation of alleged workplace violence, the message council is sending is "we are really not a zero tolerance workplace", even though we have a policy of zero tolerance.

Like any policy, if zero tolerance is not enforced, it not only loses it's impact, it actually has an opposite and far-reaching effect. It permeates the whole organization. Punishing or censuring those further down in the organization will do nothing to change the culture if nothing changes at the top.

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