Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk silenced a city councillor Tuesday night who was demanding she apologize for accusing council of holding secret meetings.
Councillor Andre Rivest said the mayor's statements have been proven false by an investigator, but she stands by them.
Rivest started to make his case — going over the mayor's comments from this spring, when she alleged councillors met secretly to discuss firing the Ontario ombudsman — but Matichuk cut him off.
"You are personally attacking me," she said.
"No I'm not," Rivest countered.
To which Matichuk replied with a bang of her gavel: "Enough!"
Matichuk insisted this was a personal attack and not appropriate for a council meeting.
"Can we shut off his mike please? I want to speak on this," she instructed staff.
'You made a mistake'
Council moved on to other matters, but the debate continued afterward.
Rivest said he still believes Matichuk owes council — and all of Greater Sudbury — an apology.
"Face the facts. You made a mistake, say you made a mistake," he said.
But Matichuk said it's the report that's full of mistakes and stands behind her belief that council met in secret, although she admits to not having first-hand knowledge of the matter.
"I looked at that report and I could poke swiss cheese holes in it, I'll tell you right now," she said. "There's a lot of misinformation."
Matichuk said the public should focus on the positives in the city and said that she and council are moving Greater Sudbury forward.
"We're going to move on," she said. "I will not apologize for doing my job."
Didn't break the law
The firing of Ombudsman Andre Marin as Greater Sudbury's closed door meeting investigator prompted hundreds of upset citizens to sign a petition.
It also saw 50 of them file complaints, alleging councillors met secretly and illegally to discuss the firing.
Marin refused to investigate those complaints, said he was sick of dealing with Sudbury city council, and added he didn't have any jurisdiction to do so.
His replacement, private firm Amberley Gavel, has investigated the matter and found councillors discussed the issue before voting — as they often do — but didn't break the law.
Marin has now come out saying he disagrees with those findings, and pointed to an investigation he did in Nipissing Township back in 2009.
In that case, the mayor of the small rural community near North Bay telephoned councillors to discuss buying a new fire truck.
But, unlike Sudbury in the Nipissing case, mayor and council held a formal meeting on the phone, taking minutes and making a decision, away from the eyes of the public.