On Sept. 10, 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Justin Altmann and others to return confidential information to the town. It also ordered that Altmann and certain others “shall be prohibited from using, reproducing, disseminating or otherwise disclosing the confidential information.”
The court order has helped the town to recover its records of confidential information, including from Altmann, who agreed to the order without admitting liability. The effort to recover records continues, but at this time town officials believe that most have been recovered.
In the summer of 2017, personal and confidential information was photocopied and included in binders that were provided to individuals. They included the personal information of 24 current and former employees, including overtime claims, salary information and employment history. The information also included descriptions of 14 closed-session council matters and documents contrary to town bylaws.
While Altmann returned some records, town officials were recently made aware that he was giving public speeches about the very information he had returned to the town – confidential information about former town employees. Altmann was warned he was in breach of the court order, which he dismissed via legal counsel, while giving another public address and, again, disclosing town confidential information.
Town officials have decided to return to court and seek a declaration that Altmann is in contempt. The parties have an appointment to appear before a judge on Oct. 19 to address scheduling.
“The town respects Altmann’s right of expression and does not seek to interfere in his campaign, but he is bound by the court’s order,” says a town media release. “He must not disclose the town’s confidences and must abide by the court order, a particular concern to the town given the information relates to its former employees.”
Photo: Whitchurch-Stouffville and Mayor Justin Altmann head back to court.