An application for a judicial review relating to a code of conduct allegation against a Kings County councillor will be back in Supreme Court in Kentville on Dec. 19.
Lawyer Peter Muttart filed a Notice of Judicial Review on Oct. 23 on behalf of Coun. Pauline Raven. The court has been asked to review the facts surrounding the admonishment of Raven to see if county council did so in accordance with their own codes and procedural bylaw.
The code of conduct matter before the court stems from an Oct. 1 incident at a county council meeting, where Warden Diana Brothers asked Raven to withdraw comments about misrepresentation and manipulation of information that Raven made during debate over a proposed regional governance study. Raven declined, and council endorsed a warning to Raven Oct. 15.
Raven was asked if she felt a letter that was leaked to the Kings County Advertiser days after the initial Nov. 19 court appearance would have any impact on the court proceedings. The leaked letter discussed a separate code of conduct allegation made against her.
Raven said the letter is correct in stating that she spoke, “too sharply,” to Coun. Kim MacQuarrie. When it was expressed to Raven later on that this hurt MacQuarrie, Raven immediately apologized.
“What troubles me about the leaked letter is that it suggests that there was an investigation that determined that I had breached the code of conduct,” Raven said. “There was no such investigation; nor would there ever have had to be one.”
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Raven said it appears to her that the letter took aim at her character at a time when she had questioned an earlier procedural item and requested that it be reviewed. Raven said she felt bullied by the letter and doubly bullied by having it leaked.
“I do not know, but I doubt that the council resolved to approve such a letter,” she said. “If they did, they did so in my absence.”
Raven said that, inaccuracies in the letter aside, it was clearly a document that should never have left council. She can’t help but wonder who is responsible and what their motives might be.
Raven has tried to find out who sent the letter to the press. On Nov. 22, she sent an email to the warden, copied to all councillors, asking several questions.
In her email to council, Raven asked that, if such a letter was necessary, why it wasn’t circulated through the secure council site. She also asked why the letter was provided for distribution by a staff member who, to Raven’s knowledge, was not privy to the in-camera discussions.
She also questioned who authorized the distribution of the letter and if anyone was ready to take responsibility for the leak.
To date, she has received no response that would identify the individual who sent the letter to the media. A limited number of people had access to the correspondence.