College Coun. Rick Chiarelli has absolutely “no intention” of resigning from Ottawa City Council

Amid increased calls for his resignation, Chiarelli’s office released a statement to On the City, From the Burbs, stating the beleaguered councillor absolutely intends to continue working.

“Although his colleagues have voted to suspend his pay for 270 days, effective starting August 14th, 2020, Councillor Chiarelli has no intention of resigning,” reads the statement sent from his executive assistant Chantal Lebel, director of Strategic Affairs and Communications.

“He remains dedicated to living up to the oath he took when he was sworn into office. He continues to have the well-being of the College Ward community at heart and intends to fulfill the commitment he made to his constituents who re-elected him to his position as councillor and to serve his full term in office even if that means he will be doing so without pay for the period imposed in the sanctions against him. In the meantime, the councillor believes that the court action he has initiated will bring the truth to light and highlight some of the very blatant bias by the Integrity Commissioner and other individuals involved in the process.”

Last fall, media reports published detailed allegations from several Chiarelli staffers and job applicants about sexually  inappropriate questions and comments from the College ward councillor.

Following a 10-month investigation, Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau recommended Chiarelli be docked nine months of his  salary – close to $80,000. 

The report was based on allegations from three job applicants. A second report is still being written, looking at complaints of two former staff members. That could mean a further reduction in his salary. Council approved the penalties at a city council meeting this month.

Chiarelli has continually denied the allegations. His lawyer Bruce Sevigny has told the city he’s been instructed to apply for a judicial review of the integrity commissioner’s authority to conduct this sort of investigation.
The 12-page document details Chiarrelli’s medical issues and council’s reaction to his actions. Several doctor’s notes were also included in the package for information purposes only, not to be reported on or passed on. But the underlying message is that his frequent medical updates were ignored by Marleau and his office in pushing ahead with the investigation and damning report.

Seems to be a lot of credibility on the line with this story.

As I have written in the past, I believe the women’s accusations.
But it’s clear to me the Mayor Jim Watson, Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau and the entire city council made up their minds before ever looking beyond the allegations, or waiting for a judicial body to examine the facts. And for the record, the city’s hired Integrity Commissioner Robert Marleau isn’t what I’m thinking about.

In my mind, Chiarelli is bright, incredibly funny with the sarcasm I really enjoy, but rubs many others like Watson the wrong way, he’s not winning friends.

Chiarelli was hung out to dry before there was any consideration of an investigation. Remember this group refused to sit with him at city council, they stood while Chiarelli sat. Watson called for his resignation with nothing but allegations. Is it possible the pendulum has swung too far the other way? Or worse yet, is the condemnation of Chiarelli based more on personality? I know first hand how vengeful Watson can be. He hated Chiarelli and would happily throw him to the wolves.

“Marleau has demonstrated that he repeatedly failed to consider or accommodate Councillor Chiarelli’s health condition, ignored the medical notes provided by the Councillor and his legal representative and misled council by omitting or glossing over important information in his final report. Mr. Marleau also provided the following FALSE statement to Council following a question asked by Councillor Cloutier,” stated Chiarelli’s prepared statement to On the City, From the Burbs.

This is really a travesty of justice. We, the public, can do better, just not sure city council can.

For more on this, look to this blog tomorrow for a timeline of what transpired between council and Chiarelli.


  1. I’ve always believed there were two separate issues and they should never have been wrapped up as one. Unfortunately that was a mistake that may yet come back to bite council and especially the mayor.
    Clearly Chiarelli had a life threatening medical issue and, while I believe the women in question, these are issues that should be handled separately.
    I’m somewhat embarrassed at what has transpired.
    Should he resign? This jury is out!

  2. Chiarelli may have said all of these things to these women. Maybe he was serious, maybe it was his idea of humour, maybe his medication affected his judgement, maybe, maybe, maybe. Obviously in this day and age he is (or would be) grossly “out of line”. But, for those who have treated him so unfairly before he is found guilty, there really is no reasonable excuse.

  3. What an absurd opinion, Susan. No one is saying Mr. Chiarelli should go to prison for what he has allegedly done. But the findings of the integrity commissioner demonstrate conduct that it unbecoming of a member of city council. The argument that this is an abuse of process is absurd, given that Chiarelli has had plenty of time and opportunities to participate in the integrity commissioner’s investigation. He knowingly refused to do so, and the courts will likely throw out his request for judicial review.

    I know you love to look at suburban politicians through rose coloured glasses, Susan, but stop being such a stenographer, and do your job.

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