Yellowknife councillor scolded, putting to rest months-long dispute with mayor

Coun. Niels Konge was censured on Monday night for 'failing to deal respectfully and courteously with others.'

'I yelled at some city employees. Should you yell at people? Yeah, probably not,' says Coun. Niels Konge

Yellowknife city councillor Niels Konge took the censure of his conduct with city employees in stride. (Walter Strong/CBC)

A dispute between a Yellowknife city councillor and the mayor has ended.

In October, Yellowknife city council appointed six members to a special committee to review complaints against Coun. Niels Konge and Mayor Mark Heyck. At city hall on Monday night, the committee censured Konge, for his actions against city staff in 2015. Censuring is an expression of disapproval or condemnation against a party for statements or conduct.

The committee was looking into duelling complaints by Konge and Heyck.

Heyck held a news conference in October saying Konge had filed a code of conduct complaint against him citing conflict of interest, because Heyck had failed to remove himself from a closed-door meeting.

Heyck called the complaint "frivolous," saying it was retaliation for how he dealt with complaints from city employees against Konge in 2015, including his conduct toward city employees at a work site, where Konge was working as a contractor.

For those actions two years ago, Konge was censured on Monday night for "failing to deal respectfully and courteously with others."

Konge accepted the censure in stride, but was not silenced.

"Yeah, I yelled at some city employees. Should you yell at people? Yeah, probably not. But there's a lot that leads up to that. The city has a lot of work to do in how they handle and deal with contractors," he said.

"The complaints that I've made ... there is nowhere to complain. When you've got thousands and tens of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on the line, emotions can get pretty high."

There was also an allegation that Konge had abused his position as a member of council, but that was dismissed.

Allegations against Heyck were also dismissed.

"Mayor Mark Heyck did not breach the Rules of Conduct as alleged in the alleged complaint," the committee found.

All of the committee's recommendations were accepted by city council, though the censure carries no legal or punitive weight.

With files from Walter Strong

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