Orillia councilor faces a five-day pay suspension after an integrity violation

Councillor Ralph Cipolla was found in violation of Orillia's code of conduct

Veteran Orillia councilor Ralph Cipolla has had his pay suspended for five days following an integrity violation.

The investigation concluded that Cipolla was in direct violation of the code of conduct. The incident in question took place on Oct. 24th when Cipolla used his position as a means to intimidate an officer into canceling a parking ticket.

While the ticket was not his, after the officer refused to cancel the man’s ticket, Cipolla stood over the officers desk and directed her to cancel the ticket. It is strictly against Orillia’s code of conduct for any member of council to direct or influence an employee.

The officer added that she felt intimidated by his presence and demeanor when he gave her direction, in addition to his status with the municipal government. Cipolla said that he was advocating for a member of the community but now understands how what he did was intimidating and a misuse of power.

The investigation began when the integrity commissioner received a complaint on Oct. 30th, 2019. The final report was filed on February 2nd and Cipolla issued his apology at the beginning of March. While the final report recommends a monetary sanction of up to 90-days, council agreed that a five day suspension was adequate.