Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Windsor's own Star Chamber at work

Fired crime committee chair doesn't know why he was ousted
Sarah Sacheli, Windsor Star
Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A volunteer removed from the city committee that runs such programs as Neighbourhood Watch and Block Parents said Wednesday he still doesn't know what he did wrong to warrant his dismissal.

Until last week, John Middleton was the chairman of the Windsor Citizens' Crime Prevention Committee, a volunteer committee on which he has served for nearly five years. He said he was summoned to a meeting with city chief administrator John Skorobohacz on April 23 where he was handed a letter saying council had voted to have him removed from the committee.

"It has been brought to the corporation's attention that your recent behaviour directed toward City of Windsor employees contravenes the spirit of the Respectful Workplace Program," the letter said.
While I'm not downplaying the concerns of City employees, basic principles of justice would allow Mr. Middleton to know what his alleged transgression(s) was and be allowed an opportunity to respond - BEFORE he was dismissed.
"Council had some pretty compelling information," said Marra. He said that during his meeting with Skorobohacz, Middleton was not told the names of his accusers, but that there was "a general disclosure of the contraventions."

And, Marra added, "the contraventions were very serious."

All the more reason for Council to have both sides of the story before taking such a drastic step.

Council can spout all the claptrap they want, but look at this if the situations were reversed. What if Mr. Middleton was filing a complaint against City employees? I'm sure there would be a process of investigation involving all parties, mediation, corrective measures etc. Summary dismissal would most likely not even be on the table. Because Mr. Middleton is a volunteer, does he deserve anything less?

The way things look, if I was the Chair of the Windsor Heritage Committee, I would be very concerned. Those pesky heritage people have been getting very vocal lately. That's a big no-no in Windsor.