Hamilton Public School Board Agrees to Release Secret Sanctions Report by Stoney Creek Councilor Carole Paikin Miller
The Hamilton Public School Board finally agrees to release the September 2021 report that prompted administrators to discipline Stoney Creek administrator Carole Paikin Miller for the third time this term.
After considering the matter behind closed doors, the directors voted to make the report public “pending legal review” without discussion at their May 30 online board meeting.
As he did during the September sanctions, Ward 4 Administrator Ray Mulholland cast the only negative vote, but gave no reason to do so.
The decision to release the report follows an appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario by Hamilton Community News regarding the council’s initial refusal to release it and the cost of an investigation. related.
At their May 9 board meeting, the trustee dealt with part of the appeal by releasing the $23,897 bill from the investigation, leaving the release of the report as an outstanding matter of the investigation. ‘call.
Board chair Dawn Danko later said the release of the report would coincide with the approval of the May 31 meeting minutes at a later meeting.
The trustees have two board meetings scheduled before the summer break, June 6 and June 13.
“I don’t have a schedule at this point,” Danko said via email.
At issue in the appeal are three sanctions, or penalties, imposed by directors against Paikin Miller following a two-hour closed meeting on September 13, 2021.
Sanctions included an official letter of censure; a demand that Paikin Miller formally apologize to Ward 3 Administrator Maria Felix Miller, other administrators, staff, and students for his conduct and the cost of an investigation; and a ban on serving on trustees’ committees for the remainder of his elected term, which ends Nov. 30.
At the time, Danko said the board would make the censorship letter and report public after reviewing the latter “due to the nature of some of the topics.”
But she backtracked in November, citing a legal opinion that the code of conduct only required the board to publicly disclose findings of a breach, which directors did at the Sept. 13 meeting.
Hamilton Community News filed a freedom of information request with the council on November 15, asking for the release of the report, a letter of censure and the cost of the investigation.
The council responded on December 6, noting that it had made the letter of reprimand public by posting it on the council’s website, but denying the report request.
The censorship letter, written by Danko, is shy of detail but criticizes Paikin Miller for failing to act “respectfully and professionally in the face of differing opinions from your colleagues”.
He also calls the Ward 5 administrator’s behavior “unseemly” and inconsistent with the principles of fairness and the council’s priority to create a climate of positive culture and well-being.
Hamilton Community News appealed the council’s refusal to release the investigator’s report to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario on Dec. 15.
The disclosure of the cost of the investigation and the imminent release of the report follow an agreement to try to resolve the dispute through mediation rather than have it formally decided.
The September 13 sanctions against Paikin Miller followed two previous sets of sanctions in March 2021 that included a call from administrators for her to resign for leading an external investigator report that was deemed racist.
The report revealed that Paikin Miller had made “openly anti-Muslim and racist remarks” to other administrators and had shown “a problematic attitude towards issues of equity” when she was a non-voting member. of the Human Rights and Equity Community Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors.
The Ward 5 administrator has never made a public statement about any of the penalties or responded to Hamilton Community News’ requests for comment, nor issued any of the three formal apologies requested by the administrators.
She also failed to comply with the requirement for additional training on equity, governance and anti-racism, according to an undated director sanctions report on the board’s website.