Toronto Catholic school trustee Angela Kennedy

Court overturns conflict conviction against TCDSB trustee Kennedy

  • March 8, 2012

TORONTO - The Ontario Divisional Court has cleared Toronto Catholic school trustee Angela Kennedy of conflict-of-interest charges.

The court overturned a 2010 Ontario Superior Court verdict that found Kennedy guilty of a conflict stemming from a May 2008 school board budget meeting where she had voted against staff layoffs. The 2010 decision ruled her vote may have affected two of her sons who were employed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

The appellate court ruled March 5 that any economic interests Kennedy may have gained by voting against the cuts were minimal and unlikely to influence her vote.

First elected as a trustee in 2000, Kennedy was removed from the board following the guilty verdict in the summer of 2010. The conviction did not prevent her from running in that fall's election however, and she was returned as trustee for Ward 11.

The charge against Kennedy, who was chair of the board at the time of the original conviction, came at a time of great turmoil within the TCDSB. The board was under provincial supervision at the time for failing to balance its budget, while a number of trustees were under a cloud of suspicion regarding their expense accounts. Conflict charges were also pending against fellow trustee Barbara Poplawski, which were dismissed in October 2010. And former board chair Oliver Carroll had previously been removed from his position after being found guilty of 10 conflict-of-interest charges for voting at the same meeting on the same issue.

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