Rick Chiarelli docked another 90 days pay on his way out of council

Coun. Rick Chiarelli, shown here at the city council table three years ago following allegations of harassment, has been docked another 90 days of pay on his last council meeting, after 30 years in municipal politics. (Giacomo Panico/CBC - image credit)
Coun. Rick Chiarelli, shown here at the city council table three years ago following allegations of harassment, has been docked another 90 days of pay on his last council meeting, after 30 years in municipal politics. (Giacomo Panico/CBC - image credit)

Coun. Rick Chiarelli ends three decades on city council with his colleagues voting unanimously to dock him 90 days of pay after they approved the third damning integrity report that found the outgoing College ward councillor harassed yet another woman.

As reported by CBC earlier this year, a former female staff member accused Chiarelli of harassing her, including offering to pay her money to perform oral sex on a man she picked up at a Montreal nightclub in 2014.

In her report released last week, integrity commissioner Karen Shepherd found this and other allegations credible, and found that Chiarelli contravened the code of conduct.

Shepherd recommended Chiarelli be docked 90 days pay — the harshest penalty available — and that the councillor offer an apology for this actions.

Council approved the recommended sanctions at the last meeting of this term, although it has no way to force Chiarelli to apologize.

Giacomo Panico/CBC
Giacomo Panico/CBC

'Closure to a dark page'

The integrity commissioner's report is the latest in a long list of allegations of harassment and egregious behaviour against former female staff members and female job applicants.

Council has previously suspended 450 days of Chiarelli's pay based on the formal complaints of five other women, with the money going to community organizations that support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

But because this term of council is coming to end on Nov. 14, Bay ward Coun. Theresa Kavanagh had to move a motion to have most of the 90-days' worth of salary to come from Chiarelli's six-month transition pay.

Kavanagh also called for Chiarelli's docked pay — worth about $27,000 — to be "directed to organizations supporting women and people who have suffered gender based silencing and harassment."

"This motion will bring closure to a dark page in the life of the City of Ottawa and this council," said Kavanagh, who is council's first-ever liaison for women and gender equity.

At the end of Wednesday's meeting, outgoing councillors geared up to make statements marking the end of their time on council. When Chiarelli — who didn't end up running for re-election — began to speak, so many councillors left the table that quorum was lost.

There was a motion to adjourn, formally ending the last meeting of the term. Only Diane Deans had had the opportunity to speak.