City Council votes to suspend pay for Brampton Councillor for 90 days over sexual assault allegations

 

Brampton City Council has unanimously passed a motion asking Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon to resign in relation to accusations of sexual assault. 

Council also voted to apply the most severe penalty available--suspension of pay for 90 days--at the behest of Muneeza Sheikh, Integrity Commissioner for the City of Brampton. 

In December 2019, Wards 9 and 10 councillor Gurpreet Dhillon was accused of sexual misconduct during a trade mission to Turkey in November 2019.

"Sexual harassment is something we have to take very seriously. I know the recommendations of the integrity commissioner are extensive, but I think by adopting them, we show very clearly we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment in our city,” Mayor Patrick Brown said during the meeting. 

The Council voted to remove Dhillon from City committees, prohibit him from travel outside the province on city business, and mandate him to apologize to the complainant. 

"I wish to state that I am displeased that there is no avenue (at least insofar as it relates to my mandate and jurisdiction) that allows for Councillor Dhillon's immediate removal from City Council," said Sheikh.

Dhillon has vehemently denied the allegations and believes the Council’s decision was rushed. 

I am deeply troubled by City Council’s rushed decision today to accept the Integrity Commissioner's flawed report,” he said in a statement posted to social media. 

As noted many times in today’s Council meeting, this investigation began without a formal complaint and has been tainted from the start. The numerous inconsistencies in the complainant’s story have never been reconciled, nor was I afforded due process,” Dhillon said in the statement. 

Brown himself experienced a similar situation in 2018 when he was the leader of the Ontario Conservative Party.

Two unidentified complainants accused Brown of sexual misconduct. While Brown denied the allegations, he did voluntarily step down from his position of leader of the Party, citing his desire to focus on clearing his name.

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