Edmonton councilor Janz questioned by Integrity Commissioner over tweet

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Edmonton’s Integrity Commissioner is investigating a formal complaint against the city councillor. Michael Janz on his conduct on Twitter.

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The investigation stems from a tweet referring to a police officer as a “pig”, not written by Janz, but allegedly retweeted. The complaint, obtained by Postmedia, alleges a violation of the Code of Conduct policy requiring councillors’ communications, including on social media, to be “respectful and not discriminatory, harassing or abusive.” disrespect to anyone” and that communications are not misleading.

Thomas Deak, who initiated the review, told Edmonton City Integrity Commissioner Jamie Pytel that Janz “appreciated and supported the comment calling the police officers ‘pigs.'”

“Mr. Janz has an open agenda of hatred toward the Edmonton Police Department. This is clearly evident in his Twitter posts,” the complaint states.

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A screenshot of the retweet submitted with the complaint shows a post by the Calgary account @coldbike on May 29, 2022 stating: “So this week a co-worker was ticketed $409 for not stopping his bike at a stop sign. It was 7am in a residential area, the roads were deserted except for the pig hiding in the bushes. The person who hit me with their car got a $47 ticket for not reporting. Seems fair.” At the time of publication, the tweet was not available on Janz’s account.

Pytel did not respond to a request for comment.

A screenshot provided to Postmedia shows a retweet purportedly from Ward papastew adviser Michael Janz.  The original tweet refers to a police officer as a
A screenshot provided to Postmedia shows a retweet purportedly from Ward papastew adviser Michael Janz. The original tweet refers to a police officer as a “pig”. Janz is being investigated for violating the council’s code of conduct by the city’s integrity commissioner. (Screenshot)

In an email sent Thursday and shared with Postmedia, Pytel told the complainant that the concerns were being investigated. Additional social media posts submitted with the tweet are not part of her investigation, she said.

“I have now opened a confidential investigation into your complaint dated May 30, 2022,” she wrote in the email shared with Postmedia. “I have included in the Disclosure to Counselor the image you provided of the retweeted post in question which uses the word ‘pig’. I will not review or provide the Advisor with the remaining positions as I have deemed them to be irrelevant or involve third parties who may not wish to be part of this process. »

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Janz said he was aware of the complaint but would not comment further.

Asked about the Edmonton Police Association chief’s earlier complaint, which was dismissed by Pytel in February, Ward papastew’s adviser said he believed there was a “concerted effort to try to shutting me up and falsely painting me as some sort of radical anti-cop, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Janz said he had friends and family in law enforcement who knew his views.

“It’s about a few people who don’t like scrutiny of their budget or their conduct and that manifests itself in hostility towards anyone who dares to question it,” he told Postmedia. “I continue to have the utmost respect for individuals, but I believe that no institution should be unchecked.”

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  1. Ward papastew Earl.  Michael Janz attends an Edmonton City Council meeting on November 1, 2021.

    Council watchdog dismisses Edmonton police union chief’s complaint against Michael Janz

  2. Michael Elliott, president of the Edmonton Police Association, says the union does not monitor a

    Edmonton police union calls EPS critics list allegations a ‘false narrative’

Janz alleged that “fake accounts” on Twitter were seeking complaints against him. He wonders if handling what he calls “vexatious complaints” is a good use of City resources.

“I think at some point if the code of conduct is being misused, it’s time as advice that we need to review and be more specific about what exactly the code of conduct is intended to do. “, did he declare. “It is not intended to limit political speech or an elected official’s freedom of expression.”

The city council considered a potential social media policy in February 2021, but unanimously rejected it. The proposed rules would have prevented councilors from blocking voters. This discussion came after former councilor Mike Nickel was investigated for his conduct on social media.

Nickel was eventually found guilty of violating the code of conduct, but was not reprimanded.

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