Wheatland Councillor has sanctions overturned | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 12pm

Wheatland Councillor has sanctions overturned


Sanctions against a Wheatland County Councillor were overturned after a court challenge.
Division Six Councillor Glenn Koester was sanctioned by Wheatland Council in April of 2022. The details of the sanction were held in-camera, however, the Mail reported he was first accused of Code of Conduct Violations in March of 2022. An independent investigation was completed. He requested the discussion be made in open council however it was defeated.
He was sanctioned and asked to provide a written apology to the Wheatland County Council, and he was removed from all previously appointed boards and committees until the next organizational meeting.
Koester challenged the sanctions suggesting he violated the county’s’ code of conduct and took Wheatland County to Court of King’s Bench. In his affidavit, Koester explained the allegations advanced in the complaint related to actions taken by the Wheatland and Adjacent Districts Emergency Medical Services (WADESMA) Board of Directors, and actions taken by the Wheatland Housing Management Body (WHMB) Board of Directors. Both bodies of which, Koester was the chairperson at the time before his removal due to the sanctions imposed by the County.
According to a post on the Getz Collins and Associates social media, Lawyer Colby Georgsen represented Koester in a judicial review application to the court of King’s bench challenging the sanctions
“In overturning the sanctions, the Court ruled that no reasonable body would have found that Councillor Koester had breached the Code of Conduct, and the process used by Council in passing the sanctions was not transparent, intelligible, or justified. The Court also found breaches of procedural fairness, including reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of Council,” states the post.
“This decision is an important reminder that the power of publicly elected bodies is not absolute. Public officials will be held in check should they choose to wield their authority in an arbitrary and unfair manner.”

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