Five city councillors and both deputy mayors of Brampton released a letter condemning mayor Patrick Brown, alleging he is corrupt.
The letter alleges that Brown used his office as mayor to pay off cronies with taxpayer dollars, employed nepotism and shut down city council’s investigations of the allegations.
On Tuesday, the Conservative Party of Canada’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) disqualified Brown from the party’s leadership race amid allegations that his campaign had violated the financial provisions of the Canada Elections Act. LEOC did not specify what the allegations were.
The letter from several of Brampton’s elected officials applauds the Conservative party for tossing Brown from the race, saying they have noticed a similar pattern of corrupt behaviour.
The councillors allege that Brown assigned lucrative government contracts to friends and acquaintances, despite these individuals not being qualified and not fulfilling their contractual obligations.
The letter alleges that Rowena Santos, regional councillor for Brampton’s Ward 1 and 5, enabled Brown’s corrupt activity and also engaged in cronyism.
“In the past few weeks senior staff informed us that $629,000 in contracts went to a firm that employed one of Brown’s closest political allies and a close friend of his main council enabler, Rowena Santos,” reads the letter.
“Other contracts were given to people directly tied to Brown or his chief of staff. Senior staff positions and other employment contracts went to glaringly unqualified individuals connected to Brown.”
After a vote to conduct a forensic investigation into the allegations, the city council meeting in which the investigation against Brown was to be discussed was shut down by Brown and supporting councillors four times in a row.
In a press conference outside Brampton city hall, councillor Gurpreet Dhillon said that there are currently five forensic audit investigations under away looking into not only mayor Brown, but also other councillors like Rowena Santos who may have given contracts to people close to them.
He says that nearly $700,000 has been contributed to an initiative called “Brampton U,” which has close ties to Santos. Despite being more than two years old, nothing has come from the program.
Councillor Pat Fortini went further, saying that city employee was pressured under the threat of termination when handling reports regarding the ‘Brampton U’ program.
Councillors also took issue with Brown having city employees helping him run his campaign for the Conservative leadership out of an office in Vaughan, as reported by Rebel News.
“We need the support of the public and the province to force Brown back to work so we can get to the truth about what’s been going on inside City Hall under his abusive leadership,” reads the letter.
“As we stated before, democracy in Brampton is under siege because of Patrick Brown. It’s time to expose the truth and help us protect the hardworking taxpayers of Brampton.”
Santos did not respond to a request for comment from True North by time of publication. Brown’s campaign, when asked to comment, did not address any questions directly but sent a City of Brampton statement signed by Brown, Santos and several other councillors taking aim at the “sad attempt” by their colleagues.
“This is another sad attempt by a group of councillors following their unprecedented and contrary motion which hides the unjust firing of the Integrity Commissioner and City Solicitor,” the statement said. Council continues to have important decisions to make. These decisions cannot be placed in legal limbo by the pre-assignment of a council seat contrary to the clear rules of the Ontario Municipal Act.”