The RM of La Broquerie council has confirmed that the Ombudsman office has launched an investigation into allegations made against one of the councilors.
On June 6, the RM of La Broquerie council voted to go in camera to discuss an impending investigation by the Ombudsman into complaints made against councilor Ed Oswald.
Deputy Reeve Jean Gagnon confirmed that Oswald was requested to leave chambers while council met in camera to “discuss Ombudsman issues” due to conflict of interest policies.
“We had to tell him that it was in his best interest to leave the room,” stated Gagnon. He could not comment further due the nature of the investigation.
However, in documents obtained anonymously by the Dawson Trail Dispatch several months ago, the Ombudsman received several allegations that indicate that Oswald may have acted in contravention of the municipality’s bylaws and regulations.
The allegations accuse Oswald who operates a dairy farm on Ekron-Oswald Road, built a barn and silo on his property without getting the proper permits and zoning variances prior to construction. A building permit issued in April 2009 show that wife Gwen, applied for a permit to construct a barn on RR2 zoned property, which is illegal according to the municipality’s development plan.
“The zoning bylaw and the building bylaw were not abided by this councilor,” states the complaint.
Council minutes confirm that the permit was applied for after construction started yet she was charged .05 per square foot for the permit instead of the regulatory .20 plus an additional .20 penalty for construction without a permit. When the matter was red flagged by staff, it was discovered that the silo was already built and no one knew that it existed until the barn application was submitted.