Niagara Region’s Council Votes To Suspend Andy Petrowski’s Pay

Controversial Regional Councillor Remains On ‘Medical Leave’

By Doug Draper

Posted July 6th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski

Andy Petrowski’s regional council seat has been empty now for the better part of a year, but the errant St. Catharines regional councillor has not stopped being a topic of discussion in the council chambers.

Over the year since close to 100 Niagara regional government officials and others received an image of a nude woman from Petrowski’s government email account – a porno pic he initially insisted must have been sent from his device by somebody else – he has been mostly on paid leave from the council and there have been calls from at least some of his constituents that he be docked his pay or resign.

The porn image and other behaviour have also made him the target of code of conduct complaints that have, in some cases, been upheld by Niagara Region’s Integrity Commissioner, along with a recommendation to council that he be docked 30 days of the roughly $28,000 in base annual pay (before expenses) that part-time regional councillors receive.

With Petrowski’s seat on council still empty, his fellow regional councillors decided this July 5th to suspend pay to him for the period November 1st through to November 30th of this year, which marks the end of the council’s four-year term after this fall’s municipal elections.

The council’s decision was made after receiving a letter from Petrowski in which he apologizes for conduct violations outlined in two Integrity Commissioner reports, and he asks the council “not to suspend my remuneration during my medical leave on compassionate grounds.”

Here is the complete text of Andy Petrowski’s letter, circulated to councillors prior to the July 5th council meeting –

Dear Mr. Chair and Regional Council,

Kindly receive this submission as my formal reply to the two Integrity Commissioner Reports (CL-C 119-2017 & CL-C 1-2018) which are the subject of your consideration at Council tomorrow evening.

First, I accept the “Conclusions” of the Integrity Commissioner with regards to both reports. 

Furthermore, I take complete responsibility for the transmission of the offensive e-mail which was sent on May 29, 2017. I have a duty to treat members of the public, Council, and staff appropriately and with the utmost respect. My actions were wrong. I offer my unconditional apology to the recipients of that e-mail, as well as to the residents of Niagara and Council. I realize the gravity of the harm committed by my offence and hope my apology will finally bring healing and closure.

I am hoping Council will acknowledge the remorse I feel over my actions and accept my unconditional apology. I am also requesting that Council does not suspend my remuneration during my medical leave on compassionate grounds as any financial penalty would cause significant duress.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,
Andy Petrowski

According to past media reports, Andy Petrowski has also decided not to run for a third-term on Niagara regional council.

A campaign sign for Andy Petrowski, featured on a billboard in St. Catharines during his successful 2014 run for Niagara regional council. File photo by Doug Draper

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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