THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - Oct. 1, 2009 - By Radhika Panjwani, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes not doctored: City Clerk says ...An internal auditor who reviewed the council minutes from a May 21 meeting says there's no evidence the document was doctored, according to the City Clerk.
The document in question was the official minutes of a council meeting that indicated Mayor Hazel McCallion had declared a conflict of interest when a video recording shows otherwise.
City Clerk Crystal Greer said the video proved McCallion did not declare a conflict of interest on May 21 last year after a development project being orchestrated by her son had come before council. The council minutes indicated she did.
Greer told councillors internal auditors from the City were able to pinpoint the exact time and date when the documents were revised.
Auditors determined that the document filed as “draft minutes” was edited May 29 at 6:30 p.m. It was the day the council agenda was to go to print. The document labeled “approved minutes” was filed and saved on June 4, the same day they were adopted by councillors.
“From what the internal audit has revealed, there's no evidence that these documents were doctored,” Greer said. “I think we can say that it's clear an error was made.”
Yesterday, (Wednesday, Sept. 30) councillors voted to amend the minutes from the May 21 meeting and delete references to a declaration of conflict of interest by McCallion.
Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who called for the investigation, said she's still "mystified" about the whole affair.
“We just corrected it but there's no explanation about how it happened,” said Parrish.
Ward 3 Councillor Maja Prentice said it was important for the public to know that it was an honest mistake made by the clerk.
“I think it's very important for the public to understand it was an error. We've all made errors in our lives,” Prentice said. “I think it needs to be reinforced that nothing was intentionally doctored or changed.”
In her four-page report to council, Greer said the clerk who recorded the minutes has disposed of her original handwritten notes.
Greer said the clerk confirmed “she would not have changed the minutes at the direction of any member of the council.”
“We're not able to confirm why that statement went into the minutes,” Greer told The News. “It's quite evident that it was an error. It's unfortunate that no member of the council picked up the error when it was presented to them for approval.”
Records show the mayor did declare a conflict at an April 21 meeting, a few weeks after she and senior city staff took part in an initial meeting with hotel company representatives interested in her son Peter McCallion's project.
At the next council meeting on April 30, at which a vote was to be taken to lift zoning restrictions on the property, she was absent. As it turned out, the decision was deferred because the land sale was not complete.
The rules required McCallion to declare the conflict again at the next meeting on May 21, and that's where the problem arose. The law does not allow conflicts declared in earlier meetings to carry over to other meetings.
Comments by others, 2, to this web-page;
The Mississauga Muse Oct 2, 2009 7:30 AM
Manicuring the Message is ROUTINE in MYTHissauga
MissyNews quote: "From what the internal audit has revealed, there's no evidence that these documents were doctored,” Greer said. “I think we can say that it's clear an error was made.”" Repeat. Anyone who knows about the "effectiveness" of Internal Audit as I do won't buy that. The minutes were FABRICATED (look it up in the dictionary). And it looks like those minutes will be FABRICATED again. Quote "Yesterday, (Wednesday, Sept. 30) councillors voted to amend the minutes from the May 21 meeting and delete references to a declaration of conflict of interest by McCallion." Those bogus May 21 minutes are HISTORY. And Council is erasing it. Unless there is also an Advisory added “These minutes were modified on October X, 2009 to reflect…” future citizens have just been handed more doctored minutes. In addition, an audiotape of that Council meeting should also be included in the “update”.
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The Mississauga Muse Oct 2, 2009 7:22 AM
As part of my research into City of Mississauga governance, I’ve sat in on Audit Committee meetings since October 2006. More importantly I audiotaped all but the first and videotaped most of the rest. The reality is that the minutes of Audit Committees are also (to put it charitably) creative writing and I'd be happy to provide video of those meetings for you to compare to the minutes. At the last Audit Committee meeting, McCallion herself finally admitted to what I'd been trying to alert her to since December 2006. That staff do not follow policies and even their own bylaws. MissyNews writing, “An internal auditor who reviewed the council minutes from a May 21 meeting says there's no evidence the document was doctored, according to the City Clerk.” Zero surprise the result would be “no evidence” of doctoring since there’s no evidence that Internal Audit is a viable entity.
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