Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson says some processes have been put in place with regard to how he communicates with a few city staffers, including the CAO, after being the subject of an investigation into workplace bullying.
Reporting from Kamloops This Week shows the third party investigation, which got underway in February, determined Hamer-Jackson violated council’s code of conduct several times by disrespecting or demeaning three staff members, including city CAO David Trawin.
The investigator determined the mayor did not violate the code of conduct with respect to allegations brought forward by a fourth staff member.
According to KTW, as a result of the findings, the mayor is not allowed to meet with Trawin and a few other staff members without a third party present. Any emails sent from Hamer-Jackson to these individuals must first be vetted by a designated councillor liaison.
Castanet Kamloops asked Hamer-Jackson to confirm that he must now adhere to these measures put in place as the result of the investigation.
“There have been things put in place,” he said. “But again, I’m not clear on the whole scope of it.”
Hamer-Jackson said he hasn’t yet received a copy of the full investigative report. He said he didn't want to comment on its contents, adding he’s most concerned about who is leaking confidential information to news reporters.
“My concern is that it’s very damaging to the community — it’s damaging to other people,” Hame-Jackson said.
The mayor said he believes he’s treated city employees well over the course of his term. When reached for comment by KTW, he reportedly described the report as false and containing innuendo.
Hamer-Jackson told Castanet Kamloops he feels this is the latest in a series of distractions at city hall.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on that just is not necessary, and it’s a big waste of taxpayers dollars," he said.
"I think it’s very damaging to the community, damaging to myself, it’s damaging to again, you know, there’s city employees’ names are spilled out here.”
The City of Kamloops hired a Vancouver firm to complete the investigation.
In late June, when it was first reported that the investigation had been launched, Coun. Mike O’Reilly said the city needs to provide a safe workplace for its employees and is legally obligated to inquire when it receives complaints alleging that an elected official is mistreating staff.
“The municipal corporation has been forced to take extraordinary steps to protect certain members of staff from ongoing mistreatment and a hostile work environment at the hands of an elected official,” O’Reilly said at the time.
Castanet Kamloops reached out to O’Reilly and City of Kamloops staff members for comment on the investigation's findings, but has not yet received a reply.