New Brunswick

Saint John councillor removed from office for missing too many meetings

Saint John Coun. Sean Casey will no longer be representing Millidgeville and the surrounding areas after he missed too many meetings.

Ward 2 Coun. Sean Casey was removed from council Monday

Coun. Sean Casey has missed the last four meetings without authorization, a council resolution says. (Connell Smith/CBC)

Sean Casey will no longer be representing Millidgeville and the north end after he missed too many council meetings.

Saint John city council voted to declare Casey's seat vacant Monday because he missed four consecutive meetings without permission.

After the vote, Mayor Don Darling said councillors had no other choice because of the rules set by the provincial Local Governance Act.

"From my perspective, decisions like that aren't easy," he said. "This is legislation that's in place, and I believe we have a duty to protect the integrity of the office and have council members present to fulfil their duty."

Common clerk Jonathan Taylor said Casey missed the Jan. 11, Jan. 28, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22 council meetings.

The resolution voted on by council says Casey "did not indicate if his absences were result of illness," and his absences were not authorized by council.

Ward 2 is still represented by John MacKenzie.

Casey was elected to council for the first time five years ago. His council phone goes directly to voicemail and says he will be away until Feb. 13. He did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

"[This is] a decision laid out, quite frankly, by legislation," Darling said.

Casey's seat will remain unfilled until the May municipal election because a byelection can't be held if an election is taking place in fewer than 12 months.