Original Published on Aug 10, 2022 at 11:11

By Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Whitewater Region – A Whitewater Region township councillor was found not guilty following an incident with a resident who laid a complaint under the Code of Conduct for municipal council members.

Integrity Commissioner Tony Fleming recently provided a report to council in response to a code of conduct complaint against Councillor Chris Olmstead regarding an incident on January 31.

Ivan Burton, Chief Administrative Officer for the township, told council at its meeting August 3 it had two decisions to make regarding the report.

The first was how to receive the report and provide it to the public and, secondly, whether or not council wished to proceed with a reprimand to Coun. Olmstead regarding his behaviour under the code of conduct.

When asked if council would like to discuss the report or the motion, everyone remained silent.

Mr. Burton then suggested Clerk Carmen Miller break the motion into two parts, because the report did have to be made available to the public.

A motion was passed to accept the report and attach it to the minutes of the Aug. 3 meeting by a vote of 4-2 (Coun. Olmstead was not able to attend the meeting).

However, a motion to reprimand Coun. Olmstead did not make it on to the table for discussion.

The report is not yet public.

In a statement, Coun. Olmstead said, “Code of conduct allegations have recently been levelled against me by Mr. Harold Gilchrist. 

“This is regarding an incident on the afternoon of January 31 when he tried to run me over with his vehicle, then block my path with his vehicle.

 “The allegations made by Mr. Gilchrist are indisputably false, as has been proven with video evidence.

“I am not at liberty to provide further details of the incident or conversations afterward due to a pending defamation suit against Mr. Gilchrist.”

Mr. Gilchrist chose not to speak about the incident, advising his daughter-in-law, Annette Gilchrist, is looking after any information regarding the incident.

Mrs. Gilchrist said she was not present during the incident or during the discussion of the report at the council meeting. What she knows is only what was reported in a local newspaper after the meeting.

She said she advised her father-in-law about how to lay the complaint. As for the outcome, she said Mr. Fleming provided his report and recommendation. Council agreed to accept the report and attach it to the minutes, but did not support the recommendation.

This item reprinted with permission from The Leader, Eganville, Ontario