Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek was censured on May 10 for ‘bullying’ a staffer, a statement posted to the City website on Tuesday, May 31, said.
It said Council was responding to “false statements” by van den Broek about the circumstances surrounding the motion of censure and sanction issued against her for breaching the City’s respectful workplace policy.
Following “an independent third-party investigation conducted by an investigator with experience in workplace law, Council determined that the mayor’s actions and behaviour “amounted to bullying and harassment,” the statement said.
“In particular, following the investigation, Council concluded that the mayor misused her power as mayor to target, intimidate and threaten an employee of the City, including by making unjustified and false statements about the employee.”
It did not name the employee.
“As a result, Council took measures it considered reasonable in the circumstances to minimize the risk of further bullying and harassment of the complainant and to publicly reprimand the Mayor.”
The statement on to say that after being publicly censured, “the mayor made false statements to the public regarding the reasons for the motion of censure and sanction. Council for the City was disappointed by the Mayor’s actions and wishes to clarify any misunderstanding.”
It said council did not vote to keep the investigation report confidential.
“Investigations of bullying and harassment under the City’s policy are to be kept confidential to the extent possible in part to encourage complainants and witnesses to come forward with concerns about conduct in the workplace and to cooperate in investigations. Investigation reports are confidential and often privileged because they contain highly sensitive and personal information of those who participated in the investigation. Confidential investigations are also meant to protect the respondent. Accordingly, the full investigation report will not be made public.”
It said the motion of censure and sanction “was not related in any way to services, facilities, or appropriate levels of spending and it was regrettable the Mayor called into question the City’s finances.”
“Due process and procedural fairness were followed at every step,” the statement said.
“Council looks forward to putting this matter behind them so that it can turn its attention more fully to the needs and business of the City.”
Langley Advance Times has reached out to Mayor van den Broek for comment.
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