20.8 C
Niagara Falls
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Letter: Burroughs issues statement on envelope exchange controversy
Letter to the editor. File

Editor’s Note: Police have closed their investigation into this matter and no charges were laid. Niagara Now’s April 19, 2023 reporting in this respect can be found here: niagaranow.com/news.phtml/no-charges-laid-after-developer-gave-notl-councillor-10000-in-cash


Coun. Gary Burroughs issued the following statement regarding the incident reported last month by The Lake Report.

As is now well known, an incident occurred more than a month ago involving myself and Benny Marotta, which I reported to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and is now subject to an investigation by Niagara Regional Police.

I have been instructed not to comment further while the incident is under investigation. At this time, however, I am compelled to clarify a few salient facts pertaining to this issue:

The incident occurred Saturday, March 4, not March 11, as has been previously reported. On Sunday, March 5, I reported the incident to a senior official within my church while the town offices were closed. On Monday, March 6, I reported the incident to the town’s chief administrator and delivered the envelope to the town offices.

I am participating in the investigation with the police and have given them a statement.

Throughout more than two decades in politics, at no time have I ever sought or solicited money or any other benefit from anyone, including Mr. Marotta.

In the days following the incident — out of concern for the unlawful implications of what occurred — I personally reported the incident to the police while I continued to wait for a response from the town.

I would like to comment on the issue of conflict of interest in relation to matters before the town involving Mr. Marotta and his companies.

In my view, I do not have a conflict of interest. Nothing has occurred that prevents me from assessing the merits of any application in a fair and unbiased way. That said, I have asked integrity commissioner Ted McDermott to review and offer an opinion on the matter.

I agree with those who say that this incident ought to remind us all of the need for complete transparency and vigilance regarding dealings among elected officials, town staff and those who seek town approval for their business dealings.

Finally, I have held elected office in this town and this region for more than 25 years and I can  say — thankfully — nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

The entire incident has created significant stress for me, my wife Sarah, my family and friends. We look forward to the completion of the ongoing investigations.

In the meantime, I am getting on with the business of council and serving my constituents to the best of my ability.

Coun. Gary Burroughs


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