Comments Regarding the Dismissal of the Code of Conduct Complaint:
(February 27th, 2022): On January 10th, I learned from a Global News Reporter that the Edmonton Police Association filed a code of complaint against me with the Municipal Ethics Commissioner.
Their complaint contained twenty-four separate social media posts alleging I broke the Council Code of Conduct, including allegations such as “liking and retweeting known critics of the police service”, and for retweeting news articles, sometimes involving police in other jurisdictions such as criticizing the Lethbridge police bullying Shannon Philips.
Needless to say, the Commissioner found no wrong-doing on my part.
I believe the complaint was retaliatory, as I have raised a number of concerns about police spending and conduct, and designed to put a “chill” on the freedom of speech by elected officials who dare question the police.
Not only do I find it unusual that there are resources being put towards monitoring an elected official’s social media, it is of great concern that our municipal police union sought a reprimand. I feel this was a blatant attempt at intimidation intended to silence an elected official in their first three months in office.
I want to be clear: this is not about me, this is about democracy. I want Edmontonians to know, it didn’t work, and I will continue to ask tough questions about their expenditures, misconduct, and commitment to anti-racism– just as I was elected to do.
Now more than ever we need more scrutiny over police expenditures not less, and as your elected councilor, I remain fully-committed to building an Edmonton Police Service that we can all be proud of.
Police unions across Canada and the United States have been criticized for being barriers to reform, accountability, and public transparency. Some have a well-documented record of bullying elected officials, including hiring private investigators, and significant political interference. When I first received the complaint it made me think of 2005 when police officers targeted the Chair of the Police Commission (Martin Ignasiak) and an Edmonton Sun journalist (Kerry Diotte) in the overtime scandal. I would have hoped that these days are long behind us.
Personally, this complaint raises major concerns about the conduct of the police association. I feel that If they are willing to try and intimidate elected officials, what do they do to ordinary citizens?
This should be of serious concern to all elected officials and Edmontonians. I am unaware if other complaints have been filed against the Mayor or Councilors.
I am considering all of my options in terms of a legal response. I have requested an apology and a correction from the Edmonton Police Association. This has taken a considerable toll on my staff and family. My hope is that the actions of the Association will be widely condemned by the Edmonton Police Commission, the Chief of Police, Elected Officials and the media everywhere.
- Police Association's 24 complaints to Integrity Commissioner, all found to be without merit, were retaliatory: Edmonton City Councillor - (David Climenhaga, Alberta Diary)
- Integrity commissioner dismisses police association’s complaint against councillor - (Taproot Edmonton)
- Complaints Dismissed - (CityNews Edmonton)
- How can a citizen help hold EPS accountable? (www.michaeljanz.ca/policeaccountability)
- Remembering George Floyd: (www.michaeljanz.ca, May 24th, 2021)