A Mississauga city hall feud has devolved into a dramatic municipal soap opera
Toronto city council has had its fair share of soap opera-level dramatics in recent years, and it looks like our neighbours to the west have taken a page out of our book, with reports that a former Mississauga councillor resigned over some extremely petty workplace issues.
Former Mississauga Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras is alleging that, since mid-2019, someone keyed her car on at least eight occasions.
And the perpetrator? Well, in a truly bizarre story, a fellow city councillor is alleged to be the reason for Ras' sudden January departure from council, which was initially cited to unspecific 'workplace issues.'
What a bananas story out of Mississauga City Hall https://t.co/FOCvSKLtsO— Three Geese Radius (@shawnmicallef) February 2, 2022
News emerged on Wednesday that Ras' former colleague, councillor Ron Starr, had been identified as a suspect by police, with a report from CBC News stating that Ras claims city officials, including mayor Bonnie Crombie and Mississauga’s integrity commissioner, failed to seriously investigate the matter.
@BonnieCrombie ???????— Chef The Skip (@chef_skip) February 2, 2022
The CBC report states that Starr was allegedly caught red-handed on camera, with a source saying that city hall security staff recorded him keying Ras' Kia Sportage SUV. A spokesperson for Peel Regional Police told the outlet that no charges were laid against Starr, who would end up paying $1,250 to repair damage to Ras' car.
Speaking to the Toronto Star, Ras said that while the keying of her car wasn't the only factor leading to her departure, it was still a big factor in the decision.
"At some point as I have to set the example for my children, that I'm not going to take this and I'm not going to subject myself to any more behaviour," Ras told The Star.
Seems like the wrong councillor resigned here https://t.co/9tYLTRiu7q— Dr. Drew Brayshaw (@DrewBrayshaw) February 2, 2022
It's a story getting plenty of traction online for its sheer petty childishness, the type of backhanded workplace relationships that would feel more at home in a high school than the city hall parking garage of one of Ontario's largest urban centres.
A bananas thing about Ontario's municipal integrity laws is that Toronto councillor Josh Matlow is arguably at a higher risk of being punished for (correctly) questioning city staff's conduct here than one of his counterparts in Mississauga is for seeming harassment. pic.twitter.com/GbPn35b47W— John Michael McGrath (@jm_mcgrath) February 2, 2022
The entire story ridiculous, and is being painted as a supreme injustice against Ras, who apparently exhausted all other avenues before resigning. It may be something she's looking to put behind her, but at least one commenter is rallying Ras to further pursue the matter.
I hope she files a civil case. Intimidation, harassment, damage to physical property, it's absurd this wasn't taken seriously. Who is the integrity commissioner? https://t.co/Q7KBEazzkb— Leslie Kivisto (@LeslieMiikal) February 2, 2022
Ras shared initial details of her departure back on Jan. 17, but her motivation for going public with further details of the allegations reportedly came through the encouragement of fellow female politicians.
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