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Mayor under investigation, resigns from police services board

April 2, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Mayor Sandy Brown has stepped down from the Orangeville Police Services Board, following a complaint alleging code of conduct issues and Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh was unanimously voted in as his replacement.

The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) started an investigation regarding the complaint on March 19, at which time Mayor Brown was notified that he would have to resign while the investigation takes place. However, he said he’ll be resigning until the end of his Council term, which concludes in 2022, in a letter circulated to councillors.

“I have decided to resign from the board in order to get some fresh thoughts and fresh perspective from another member of Council,” said Mayor Brown during a special Council meeting on March 25.

“The matter is confidential until the investigation is completed, at which point all of the investigation will be made public. I will not be making any comments further, nor will I be answering any questions by the public or the press beyond this date.”

In Mayor Brown’s resignation letter, he stated that he believes the complaint that brought about his investigation was politically motivated by Police Services Board (PSB) Chair, Coun. Todd Taylor.

“The current membership of the PSB is populated with OPS supporters – including Chair Taylor who continues to advocate for one of the poorest managed Police Services in the history of Ontario,” Mayor Brown wrote in the letter. “Now that I am free of my bonds – there will be a lot more to report to Town Council and the citizens of Orangeville.”

In an interview with the Citizen, Coun. Todd Taylor said he wasn’t impressed with the wording of Mayor Brown’s letter, finding it “disappointing and unprofessional”.

“He’s calling me out because I’m doing my job as Chair of the Police Services Board… the fact that he’s being investigated has nothing to do with me,” said Coun. Taylor. “The province determines what they’ll do there and to me, they wouldn’t be investigating any politician or board member if there wasn’t a reason to do so.”

In November of 2019, Mayor Brown stepped down as chair of the PSB following allegations he broke his oath of confidentiality, although, at the time, he refused to recuse himself from the Board completely. 

The issue surrounded Mayor Brown sharing confidential information, via email, regarding a member of the Orangeville Police Service with Council and local media.

Following the incident, Sgt. Doug Fry who was the Orangeville Police Association president during that time, lodged an official complaint with the OCPC, which is the commission that is now investigating Mayor Brown.

Sgt. Fry said he did so because Mayor Brown breached his confidentiality under the Police Services Act, which all PSB members operate under and because of this, he formally asked him to resign.

Coun. Taylor said Mayor Brown’s forced resignation and the OCPC’s investigation is an unfortunate situation.

“I think it’s quite sad that the mayor is being investigated, like it’s not good for the town of Orangeville,” said Coun. Taylor. “It’s not putting us as a community in the best light, so to me, as soon as we can find out what the investigation is about, and find out what the repercussions are, and move on, the better.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh, who’s replacing Mayor Brown on the PSB has a long career in Emergency Services, having served as Orangeville’s fire chief for 16 years.

Mayor Brown recommended Macinotsh as his replacement in his resignation letter, noting that he’s the next highest ranking member of Council and has spent countless hours of close interaction with multiple Police Services throughout his career.

In the letter’s concluding remarks, Mayor Brown lauded the OPS’s transition to OPP.

“I am extremely proud of leading Council and taxpayers of Orangeville in the replacement of OPS with OPP. We are already seeing cost savings – and when we step into the new billing model, the savings will be millions of dollars per year. Money that can be used to freeze taxes for years and to continue to improve the amenities and infrastructure of our Town,” he wrote.

“We are already seeing the qualitative improvements in the local Police Service – improved police presence, improved traffic enforcement, increased criminal arrests, a new Street Crime Unit to fight drugs – and perhaps most importantly a motivated, professional group of police officers provided with excellent equipment and resources, who inspired by excellent leadership, are happy to be working in Orangeville and doing their best to serve our Town.”



         

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