SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog will not be paying Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett’s legal fees, for a judicial review of Integrity Commissioner H.G. Elston’s reports.
At a meeting on Monday, September 25th, Councillor Kett’s deferred notice of motion from the September 11th meeting, to have “the municipality agree to pay the reasonable legal fees of counsel to Councillor Kett together with disbursements and any applicable taxes” and to “indemnify Councilor Kett against any cost awards made against him” never made it to the floor for discussion, as he could not find a councillor to second it.
Before the start of the open session portion of the meeting, there was a closed session where Councillors received advice on the topic of Councillor Kett’s motion from Loopstra Nixon LLP.
Mayor Tom Rowett told The Standard he was not surprised the motion did not make it to the floor.
“I think that even if it had not been deferred at the [September 11th meeting], in my opinion it wouldn’t have been passed,” he said.
Mayor Rowett said he couldn’t speak about the advice from the Township’s legal counsel, however he noted the cost estimate, if the Township had agreed to pass the motion, “would be significant.”
However, Mayor Rowett said Councillor Kett is still free to move forward with his judicial review, if that is his intention, but the Township will not be paying his legal costs.
“That’s [Councillor Kett’s] prerogative, his choice. but he’d have to do it on his own dime,” the Mayor said.
The motion was deferred at the September 11th meeting, because of the “ambiguous wording” of it, and because council did not feel comfortable passing it when they did not have an exact estimate of what the cost would be.