Ottawa

Chiarelli vacationed in Prague 2 days after being rushed to hospital, video shows

Two days after Coun. Rick Chiarelli says he was rushed to the emergency department, he was vacationing with his family in Prague, as shown in a video posted to YouTube.

Council to consider Chiarelli's request for formal leave of absence at meeting Wednesday morning

Rick Chiarelli appears in a family video, posted on YouTube, in front of a tomb at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, just days after he says he was rushed to the emergency department. (YouTube)

Two days after Ottawa Coun. Rick Chiarelli says he was rushed to the emergency department for an unspecified illness, he was vacationing with his family in Prague, as shown in a video posted to YouTube.

City council is set to consider Chiarelli's request for a leave of absence for "an indeterminate period of time, and at least until October 9, 2019 inclusive, due to medical issues," according to a prepared motion that council is expected to vote on Wednesday morning.

Chiarelli sent out a memo on Tuesday to say that he would be requesting a leave of absence, and that he had "been too ill to formalize the process until now."

"Following an examination at my doctor's on August 14th, 2019, I was rushed to the Emergency Department," the memo said. " I have attempted to follow my doctor's instructions since then, almost completely eliminating work and stress activity and attending follow-up appointments."

Two days later, in family videos publicly posted on YouTube, Chiarelli is clearly in Prague on Aug. 16, as shown by a restaurant receipt dated that day.

Chiarelli appears in front of Hotel Europa in Prague on Aug. 19. (YouTube)

A video also shows Chiarelli in front of Hotel Europa on Aug. 19 and standing in front of the oldest tombstone in the Old Jewish Cemetery on Aug. 21.

Chiarelli says doctors advised him to 'get away'

Chiarelli responded to questions about the trip late Tuesday. Through a statement read to CBC over the phone by one of the councillor's staffers, Chiarelli said that his doctors suggested he go on a pre-planned trip to the Czech Republic instead of staying home alone. The councillor also suggests he may leave Ottawa in the next while for his health.

"For extensive time, three doctors advised me that it would be more beneficial to leave town and visit family in the Czech Republic than stay home in bed alone," according to the statement. "The doctors advised me to get away from the stress, and two of the three doctors agreed that it would be better to go with my family than to deal with all the stress alone.

"This trip was planned for years, and while away, I had to follow a strict regimen of rest, sleep and medication. As a matter of fact, the doctor actually told me to leave town for the next three to four weeks." 

Two weeks ago, CBC reported that a woman alleged Chiarelli asked inappropriate questions of a sexual nature in a job interview, including whether she was willing to not to wear a bra to some work events.