'Vulgar' Vagnini should have his pay docked, Sudbury integrity commissioner rules
Michael Vagnini, Greater Sudbury's councillor for Ward 2, has run afoul of the city's integrity commissioner for swearing at city staff and for a bizarre YouTube video he posted to social media.
Integrity commissioner Robert Swayze is recommending the councillor's pay be docked for 40 days.
"These two complaints reveals an elected member of council who feels he can be vulgar and disrespectful to his work associates, whether members of staff or council," Swayze wrote.
"It is important that this member of council be penalized in a meaningful way so that he changes his behaviour and that he understands that a repeat of this conduct will result in a recommendation from me of a suspension of the maximum 90 days salary."
Swayze revealed he received a complaint about Vagnini from CAO Ed Archer regarding a request Vagnini made for a fire truck and other gear for the funeral of a friend of his who was a volunteer firefighter.
"The deputy chief of the department politely refused to supply the apparatus to the funeral home because of the extreme cold and the risk of damage to the equipment," Swayze wrote.
In response, Vagnini swore at the staff member:
“This is bull***t ***. Don’t play that f***ing game with me."
"F*** off, I can’t believe you won’t do this."
"Don’t try to tell me this s***."
He later apologized.
Vagnini was also taken to task for a YouTube video he posted in January with a Sudbury homeless advocate that claimed, among other things, that frozen bodies had been removed from Memorial Park, that a double stabbing took place at a local shelter and the city was evicting people from their tents in the park.
When police and city staff said none of that was true, Vagnini said he didn't believe staff.
A third complaint – that Vagnini had called Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc and swore and threatened him – couldn't be substantiated, Swayze ruled.
"I was provided with no corroborating evidence to substantiate the life-threatening statements by the respondent and I take note that after an investigation by the police, no charge was laid," he wrote.
"I have insufficient evidence to find that the code (of conduct) was contravened with this phone call and the … complaint is hereby dismissed."
Read the full report here.