People First of Lanark County founder and Carleton Place resident Kory Earle held a formal press conference on Jan. 29 to deliver remarks concerning the Jan. 26 release of a municipal integrity commissioner’s report regarding Mayor Louis Antonakos.
Robert J. Swayze, Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Carleton Place, found that the mayor contravened the Council Code of Conduct in his joint report on three different complaints filed by former town mayor Paul Dulmage, current councillor Brian Doucett, and Earle. That report is available on the municipal website attached to the Jan. 30 council meeting agenda.
Dulmage complained that Mayor Antonakos disrespected him publicly in a Facebook post by stating that he (Dulmage) had been dishonoured, and Doucett alleged that the mayor released a confidential report that was considered in a 2010 closed or in-camera session of council. Earle’s submission to the Integrity Commissioner related to issues of being bullied, intimidated and being called a liar.
Swayze determined that the mayor failed to “treat members of the public with dignity, understanding, and respect” and exhibited discreditable conduct towards Dulmage and Earle.
He also found that mayor committed a serious violation of both the Code and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in response to Councillor Doucett filings regarding the released 2010 report. Council will discuss the commissioner’s report at their Jan 30 meeting.
An emotional Earle read from a prepared statement to a room filled with supporters and family, indicating that he felt it was his responsibility to file his complaint as a resident of Carleton Place and as a member of an organization that stands for and promotes a “Canada that values diversity; and honours, respects and includes all its citizens.”
He indicated that he feared running into Mayor Antonakos after a series of confrontations that occurred between 2010 and 2017 that came to a head when the mayor took exception with Earle’s choice of Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn as council’s spokesperson at an annual People First fundraiser and awareness campaign.
He went on to add that the mayor had called him a liar in public (in front of a witness) and that his phone answering machine had recorded several rude voicemails from the mayor. He stated that he had undergone counselling as a result of his experiences. He called for the mayor to resign immediately during the conclusion of his remarks.
“If the mayor refuses to step down, I call on him to publicly apologize and to take sensitivity training. Town Council should treat the three complains separately in determining the penalties to assess,” he said.
Earle expressed his thanks to his family, People First, members of town council (Councillors Black, Fritz, and Redmond were in attendance at the release), and friends and community residents who have spoken to him in support.