City of Calgary's integrity commissioner retires after less than year on job due to workload

·1 min read
The city's integrity commissioner, Meryl Whittaker informed council last month that she is stepping down. (Scott Crowson/CBC - image credit)
The city's integrity commissioner, Meryl Whittaker informed council last month that she is stepping down. (Scott Crowson/CBC - image credit)

The City of Calgary's integrity commissioner is leaving after less than a year on the job.

Commissioner Meryl Whittaker told the city last month of her plan to leave on Nov. 30, sparking a search for her replacement.

The part-time position is in charge of investigating complaints against council members for possible violations of their code of conduct.

Whittaker, a lawyer and former senior provincial public servant, started the job last December. Mayor Jyoti Gondek says it appears the work exceeded the time she had for the job.

Whittaker previously had to investigate issues such as Coun. Evan Woolley calling colleague Sean Chu an "ignorant moron" on Twitter.

Gondek says it's disappointing to lose someone like Whittaker, but that she understands volume of expectation for a role can change.

"I think we all recognize that it has been an incredibly uncertain time in everyone's life and career and so I understand that she was able to provide us a service for as as long as she did and we were happy to have it," she said.

The mayor says city council will appoint an independent citizen committee to search for a new integrity commissioner with the hope the job will be filled early in the new year.

The city's last integrity commissioner, Sal LoVecchio, also left suddenly in 2020. LoVecchio was supposed to be responsible for investigating Coun. Joe Magliocca's expense filings, but recused himself after he realized Magliocca expensed a $163 social lunch the pair shared without his knowledge.

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