Sudbury city council is firing the Ontario Ombudsman and will replace him with an investigator hired through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to handle complaints about closed door meetings.

City councillor Claude Berthiaume said the decision was about expertise.


Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin has been fired by Greater Sudbury council as the city's investigator on closed door meetings complaints. (Erik White/CBC)

"I have a feeling that [AMO investigators] understand municipalities a lot better than the Ombudsman's office do," he said.

But his colleagues were more concerned about the professionalism of Ombudsman Andre Marin and the war of words that's been going on since he investigated and cleared council of wrongdoing last year.

Several councillors mentioned his raucous visit to city hall in December which councillor Fran Caldarelli said she viewed as a kind of job interview.

"Thinking about how unbelievably rude the Ombudsman was, most of us would be hard-pressed to think of a reason why we'd want to continue that relationship," she said.

'Additional nonsense'

Coun. Jacques Barbeau said the public shouldn't think this move is about avoiding scrutiny.

"There's not one of us who sits around the table that has any issue whatsoever with being investigated," he said. "What we want to do without is all the additional nonsense that follows the investigation by the current ombudsman."

Marin didn't reply to interview requests from CBC News Tuesday night. But on Twitter said he respected Council's decision and he feared it was motivated by "retaliation."

As has been the case with many council votes lately, council voted 12-to-1, with Mayor Marianne Matichuk pitted against the council.

"I don't think the public is going to be too happy with this one," she said.

"And that is the reason why I voted against it."

Council will have to vote again before the switch is official, something that's expected to happen in two weeks.