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Mayor of Carleton Place stripped of pay till end of term

Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos has been docked 270 days of pay after a damning report by the town's integrity commissioner found he'd breached the code of conduct three times.

Louis Antonakos docked 270 days' pay after damning report by town's integrity commissioner

Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos received 270 days docked pay and had his discretionary fund eliminated. It's one of the harshest penalties meted out by an Ontario council. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)

Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos has been stripped of his pay for the remainder of his term in office by his own council following a damning report by the town's integrity commissioner that he'd breached the town's code of conduct.

Council voted for a 90-day suspension of salary, the strongest sanctions available, for each of three breaches identified in the report, including bullying and sharing confidential information.

Council also cut off his discretionary funding.

Together, it will mean the mayor will likely never receive another paycheque before the October municipal election, making it one of the harshest penalties ever for an Ontario mayor for breaching a code of conduct. 

At the meeting Tuesday night, the crowd erupted in applause as council voted on the motion to sanction their mayor.  

It was standing-room only at Carleton Place town hall Tuesday night as council voted to sanction their mayor. Many of the speakers advocating for that drew applause from the audience. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)

Renewed calls for resignation

Antonakos also faced several calls for his resignation both from the audience and members of the six-person council.

"Resign now," said resident Kory Earle in a speech aimed at the mayor.

"Enough is enough."

Earle's complaint to the commissioner alleged Antonakos had bullied the long-time advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. 

Kory Earle, an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, wore pink at Tuesday's Carleton Place council meeting to symbollize anti-bullying awareness. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)

Members of the audience and several councillors wore pink ribbons, scarves, shirts and hats in solidarity with Earle.

Antonakos, who wore a ribbon himself, tried to argue the bullying complaint against him in spite of the commissioner's findings to jeers from the audience and demands he take the ribbon off. 

No support for a review

The mayor then tried to introduce a motion asking for a judicial inquiry to review some of the commissioner's findings, but he couldn't find someone to second his motion.

The next motion brought forward by Coun. Theresa Fritz involved the sanctions, and with almost no discussion, the motion passed to hoots, hollers and loud applause. 

But as the audience filed out of the room, council business returned to the mundane issues of the day.

The mayor returned to his place as chair of the meeting, the symbolic chain of duty back around his neck.

Many people in the crowd at the Carleton Place council meeting wore pink ribbons or clothes as a symbol of anti-bullying awareness in solidarity with Kory Earle, one of the people who complained to the town's integrity commissioner about the mayor's behaviour. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)

'We did the best we could' 

"I'm relieved this is over, this was stressful for everybody. Unbearably stressful," said Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn during a brief break.

But he acknowledged that not much has actually changed for the council moving forward.

"Council goes on the way it has. He remains the mayor and [sanctions are] the only tool we have," said Flynn.

"We did the best we could."

Mayor Louis Antonakos once again wore the symbolic chain of office after a section of a council meeting where he faced multiple calls for his resignation and had his pay suspended. (Amanda Pfeffer/CBC)