Jeremy Searle refuses to take leave of absence

City councillor Jeremy Searle says he intends to stay on despite request from Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough mayor that he take a leave of absence.

Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Mayor Russell Copeman urges Searle to focus on getting help

Jeremy Searle was asked to leave a Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce council meeting on Monday evening (CBC)

City councillor Jeremy Searle says he intends to stay on despite a request from the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough mayor that he take a leave of absence.

In a personal and confidential letter to Searle, Russell Copeman expressed his concern with the independent councillor for Loyola’s recent behaviour, which includes an alleged drunken appearance at a city council meeting last week.

“His personal situation is somewhat out of control. I think we've seen some erratic behaviour on his part but primarily, because [the letter] was confidential and personal, my objective was to suggest he get professional help,” Copeman told CBC News.

Copeman said he hand-delivered the letter and that its contents were not leaked to the media by anyone in his office.

When asked if he intended to take Copeman’s advice, Searle said no.

“Of course not. Why should I?” Searle told CBC News.

Searle said he had nothing to say about the allegations regarding his behaviour, calling them “rumours.”

Searle admits that he has a problem with alcohol but said it’s under control.

“I'm on a medically-mandated decreasing dose of alcohol, so naturally at certain times you will smell alcohol on my breath,” he told CBC News.

City Councillor Marvin Rotrand said he rarely agrees with Searle on matters before council, but he defended his colleague's right to remain on council Monday.

“It's up to him to decide whether he's going to take a leave. As far as I'm concerned, he's one of my constituents, a long time acquaintance, I don't vote for him even though I live in his district, I don't agree with about 95 per cent of what he says, but he was democratically elected,” Rotrand said.