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Saint John Councillor Paula Radwan. Image: Submitted

UPDATED: Saint John councillor sanctioned for conduct breaches

By Brad Perry Apr 30, 2024 | 12:06 PM

A Saint John councillor has been reprimanded for breaching council’s code of conduct.

Council voted 5-0 Monday night to accept the findings of an investigation involving Coun. Paula Radwan.

Dated March 22, the investigator’s reports found that Radwan “breached sections of the code of conduct bylaw,” according to a resolution read at council.

Council members also voted to accept the “remedial actions” that were recommended by committee of the whole, “including that the details of the sanction imposed remain private.”

Details of the breaches found by the investigator have not been released and a city spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

In a statement late Wednesday, Radwan said she thinks council was trying to be fair, but that the process needs to change.

“The process does not allow a holistic view of the situation and therefore is unfair to all parties,” said Radwan.

Deputy Mayor John MacKenzie and councillors David Hickey, Greg Norton, Barry Ogden, and Gary Sullivan voted in favour of the motion.

Radwan and fellow councillors Gerry Lowe and Greg Stewart left council chambers before the vote. Councillors Brent Harris and Joanna Killen were absent from Monday’s meeting.

The code of conduct bylaw governs, among other things, the behaviour of council members, their roles and responsibilities, conflicts of interest, and their use of social media.

When a formal complaint is received, a committee of three council members will determine whether it should be investigated. If they agree it should, the city clerk will retain an external investigator.

The councillor at the centre of the complaint would be given at least 10 days to provide a written response. The investigator would have 90 days to submit a “written confidential report” with their findings and a recommended sanction.

Sanctions can include a letter of reprimand, suspension or removal from committees, an apology, or a reduction or suspension of pay for up to 90 days,

Last fall, two other Saint John councillors were suspended from their board and committee duties following a code of conduct complaint.

Brent Harris and Joanna Killen said at the time that they were targeted over their support for striking city workers.

An investigator later concluded that while Harris and Killen were found to be in breach of the code of conduct, there was no “malice or ill will” involved.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that councillors Brent Harris and Joanna Killen did not breach the code of conduct.