The Voter takes a close look at the situation of Innes Councillor Jody Mitic and the hiring by the city of his girlfriend:
So it took his ex-wife objecting to the girlfriend working in his office for something to be done?
Was she the only person who knew about this relationship or just the only one prepared to take action?
We have on one side College Councillor Rick Chiarelli who recuses himself from any item at committee or council that has anything to do with shelters because his daughter works in a shelter that gets city funds. He does that even if the item has nothing at all to do with the place she works. Then we have Innes Councillor Jody Mitic paying his girlfriend out of his office budget. What a contrast in ethics.
A number of years ago, the old city of Ottawa put in a policy that a councillor couldn’t have family members on staff. That was expanded so that they couldn’t hire each other’s family members. That wasn’t the case at the region or the new city … but abuses occurred there. Should the city not have a human resources policy that precludes councillors from using their staff budgets to employ family and romantic partners? What about councillors’ family who work in other areas within the city? Are either of these situations covered by existing conflict of interest guidelines?
On another level, does Mitic not see the danger of a relationship with someone he is paying to provide him with other services?
- Has he heard of Me Too? He has the power in the relationship;
- Does he know what that can do to the workplace when the boss is dating a member of staff? It’s not like he has a huge office;
- What are the potential repercussions for the city post-break-up?
What city job did she get and is she qualified for it? Was the hiring process fair or did she have an advantage over others? Is she in a position where a councillor’s decisions could have any effect on her work or vice versa? Can we look forward to him recusing himself from discussions and votes in those areas of potential conflict?
This is the guy who didn’t bother calling in sick when he missed much of the budget discussions last fall.