The Town of Comox Municipal Works building on Guthrie Road.

The Town of Comox Municipal Works building on Guthrie Road.

No evidence found of Comox staff misconduct, investigation over

Mayor was unaware of any investigation opened by previous CAO

The Town of Comox, as well as the RCMP, have concluded their respective investigations into allegations of staff misconduct, with no further action planned.

In August, then Town CAO Richard Kanigan confirmed to The Record that he had received notice of the allegations and that an investigation had begun.

“Yes we are aware of the allegations and are investigating the matter. Given that it a sensitive personnel matter, I cannot really comment more than that,” said Kanigan, in an Aug. 16 email response to a query regarding the allegations.

Comox municipal engineer Shelley Ashfield was among the Town of Comox employees who were CC’d in this response.

The Town announced Kanigan’s departure as CAO in a press release Sept. 16, saying the Town had “decided to embark on a new direction for management of its organization.”

On Sept. 17, The Record reached out to newly hired CAO Al Kenning regarding the incident. He said he was aware of the incident and that the investigation would continue. The following day, the Town provided the RCMP with a file.

An Oct. 18 press release issued by the Town of Comox implies that no investigation was active, prior to The Record reaching out to Kenning.

“On Sept. 17, 2019, the Town of Comox received a copy of an anonymous, undated letter addressed to the Comox Valley Record containing allegations about the behaviour of unnamed members of the Town’s Public Works Department,” read the press release. “These allegations referred to interactions with female school students. The Town immediately initiated an investigation, including a referral of the letter to the local RCMP detachment.”

When contacted by The Record for clarification, Mayor Russ Arnott said he was unaware of any such investigation opened by Kanigan.

“I was not made aware of the complaint, from Richard,” said Arnott. “My involvement, and Al’s too, was when [The Record] sent us that [letter]. At that point we immediately took steps to investigate it further.”

RELATED: Comox CAO investigating allegations against staff

According to the Oct. 18 Town press release, on Oct. 9, the RCMP informed the Town that their investigation was concluded. No information confirming the alleged activity was found by the RCMP. The Town’s internal investigation is now also concluded, and has been unable to find evidence to support that the alleged behaviour actually occurred or that Town employees were involved.

“The Town’s priorities have been to ensure the safety of its citizens and to ensure its employees work in a safe environment,” Arnott said in the Oct. 18 press release. “I would like to thank our employees for their continued dedication to their duties throughout the investigation and our citizens for continuing to support our employees. I believe all Comox citizens can have confidence that Town employees are acting professionally at all times and are providing great service to the community.”

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read