Alberto Ebrahim says the report shows he, as mayor, did not conceal evidence
by Craig MacDougall, Rob Kotecki, Peter Craven, Beatrice Britneff, Stephen Little, Megan Ellis, David Harris, Joanna Galloway, Karina Darke
Pittsburgh, Greetings from Pittsburgh. As you’re no doubt aware, Brampton mayor Alfa Ebrahim has been on leave since November, when he was suspended from office for “gross misconduct”. Today, council finally received the report into Ebrahim’s suspension, which led to the findings of the Ontario Ombudsman.
While it’s clear that the investigation was based on allegations rather than evidence, Ebrahim says the report has “vindicated” him, and he hopes council will allow him to return to his duties as mayor immediately.
It would seem, however, that city management and council won’t simply be releasing Ebrahim right now; in a press conference, they suggested he be placed on a leave of absence until further notice.
T&T Guardian has obtained a full copy of the report, which details allegations that Ebrahim had his home burgled while police officers, including his son, left the scene of the crime. Documents show he had a $33,000 gold chain stolen, which Ebrahim denies.
The report goes on to say Ebrahim failed to report a 2007 incident involving a prisoner in his care, ignoring some notification (you can read the PDF report here). Further, the report accuses Ebrahim of allowing a neighbour to photograph the nude body of his girlfriend when he and his son were arrested following an alcohol-fuelled confrontation in a bar.
The report includes detailed allegations against Ebrahim’s staff as well. It says city councillors were not informed of the investigation because he had not been named, until a message appeared in city hall stating that it was necessary to be made aware of it. Ebrahim denies this.
Some critics claim the allegations are over the top and that he has nothing to be ashamed of. They say the documents do not support the mayor’s suspension. Ebrahim’s lawyer, Alberto Ebrahim, has issued a statement in response to the report. Here’s an excerpt:
From Mr. Ebrahim: “This scathing report reveals the extensive and thorough investigation carried out by the Ombudsman’s office, which also fell flat in terms of the evidence provided. It is the Commissioner who produced the report and not the Ombudsman. We reject completely the commissioners conclusions as ill-founded and disproportionate. Brampton residents deserve better, especially when public trust has been undermined as this matter has.” “Rather than seeking to protect Brampton’s stability and democratic processes from the wide-ranging allegations and acrimony, Councillors would have been wise to have requested a timely and thorough investigation in the first place. Instead, they have acted with a cavalier disregard for Brampton’s staff, citizens and even current and former councillors.” “We now call on all Brampton city councillors to act with honesty and transparency when deciding to continue the mayor’s suspension or to reverse their position and immediately allow the mayor to resume his duties. The real facts behind this controversy have been exposed.”
You can read the full statement here.
City Manager Juan Fernandez declined to comment on the investigation. The council should respond in principle to the report at a workshop session, according to the council agenda. The council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
I’ve invited the Mayor’s Council Advisor to give me a statement about the report. This would be an impromptu email from Craig MacDougall. He has not yet returned my call. I’ll update this post when I have something.
What do you think? Do you think the council should allow Ebrahim to return to his duties as mayor now?