Osgoode Coun. George Darouze has apologized for his stupidity for texting while driving. Agreed. It was stupid. But as one of our three deputy mayors for Ottawa, that’s just not good enough.
During a livestream audit committee meeting on Tuesday, Darouze got into his car, continued to listen to the meeting, but then felt the need to text – while driving Unbelievable, but true.
Was he apologizing for breaking the law or just being so stupid that he did it all on camera? Pathetic.
Let’s not forget. Just last year he was found guilty of harassing a woman in his own ward by the Integrity Commissioner. City hall’s independent integrity watchdog who found that Darouze broke council’s code of conduct when he bullied constituents. Really?
“On a balance of probabilities, I find that the major motivation of the councillor was to bully and intimidate the complainants and each of them in the hope that the female complainant might cease her critical Facebook commentary of him,” a city report said.
Darouze apologized then as well, and again, that was good enough for Mayor Jim Watson. Shouldn’t we be aiming a bit higher?
Reminds me of a little boy my young son played with many years ago. This boy would throw things, hit my child and his mother would tell him to apologize. He did so happily, but continued his behavior. Certainly a case of sorry not sorry!
This time, Watson has said he believes Darouze has learned his lesson. Pretty sure the only lesson Darouze has learned is that he can mess up as often as he wants, but as long as he supports Watson, no problem.
Love might mean never having to say you’re sorry. But let’s make it clear. Saying sorry doesn’t cut it here. Darouze needs to step down as deputy mayor, a position he clearly doesn’t deserve. Frankly, he didn’t deserve it when he first got the position, there are so many talented and experienced councillors, but they won’t follow Watson blindly.
If Darouze isn’t a big enough person to step down of his own accord, then it’s up to Mayor Jim Watson to do the dirty work.
If I was a betting person, my money would be against either of these things happening. In this case, hope doesn’t spring eternal.
Some wondered why the councillors online with him didn’t point out he shouldn’t be texting while driving.
Capital Coun. Shawn Menard said he was questioning whether Darouze should resign as deputy mayor, but didn’t see him driving and texting during the meeting.
Bay Coun. Theresa Kavanagh did see it.
“When I saw what Councillor Darouze was doing on screen I was in disbelief and sent a message to the Clerk to ask what should be done when something like this happens. Mr. O’Connor advised that this was best dealt with by police and not by city procedures. I was not happy that I was witnessing something that was an offence under the highway traffic act during a long and important committee meeting,” she said in an email.
Her response of course is just one of the reasons so many, myself included, are crazy about her.
On Twitter, several people said they had reported Darouze’s offence to police.
Don’t hold your breath for the right thing to be done.
As expected, no word from the mayor. Shocking!