The Hamilton Police Services Board has postponed a scheduled meeting for a third time while it awaits legal advice on the temporary appointment of Coun. Lloyd Ferguson.
The board was originally supposed to meet on June 17 but the meeting has since been rescheduled twice. The most recent date — July 15 — will not go ahead either.
The meetings have been pushed back while the board waits for word on the legality of Ferguson's temporary appointment to replace Coun. Terry Whitehead, who is under investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission for behavioural issues.
Ferguson's temporary appointment was reviewed by city solicitor Janice Atwood-Petkovski, who says council has the power to temporarily appoint someone to the board if another councillor is unable to act. "From a black and white legal approach, this applies," she said.
An Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services advisor deemed Ferguson's temporary appointment to the board unlawful because Whitehead is still technically a member, even though he is suspended. The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) is seeking a legal opinion.
The board received a letter from the OCPC on Thursday, saying they had not yet received the requested legal opinion and may not for another week or two. The commission says the board should continue to put off making a decision on Ferguson's appointment until after they receive the commission's position.
The new date for the meeting is August 12.
The agenda for the next meeting includes a $286,491 budget variance in 2012 and $26,000 in improvements to the mobile police museum.