Council will seek new ombudsman, integrity commissioner and closed-meeting investigator

By Cecilia Nasmith

At Monday's committee-of-the-whole meeting, Cobourg council voted to make three jobs of one, and to issue an RFP for each.

The motion came as a result of a review of the appointment of John Ewart (of Ewart O'Dwyer Barristers and Solicitors) as the town's integrity commissioner, ombudsman and closed-meeting investigator. In making the change, the motion noted, Ewart's appointment is to be extended for the purpose of concluding any final on-going investigations that remain with his office and reporting back to council upon their conclusion.

Council's vote was not only for a replacement, but for three – in effect, issuing separate RFPs for an integrity commissioner, ombudsman and closed-meeting investigator.

Over the course of his three years at the post, ending December 2018, Ewart has billed the town $6,278.17 for ombudsman services, $4,283.04 for integrity-commissioner services and nothing for closed-meeting-investigation services.