A Brampton city councillor who is at the centre of a sexual misconduct investigation should be suspended without pay for 90 days and be formally reprimanded, a report from the Brampton integrity commissioner said Friday.
Wards 9 and 10 Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting and harassing a Brampton woman in a hotel room in Turkey in November 2019, the report said. The name of the alleged victim has not been released.
The 268-page report, which was prepared by integrity commissioner Muneeza Sheikh at the request of the office of Mayor Patrick Brown in November, was sent to the city on Friday. Along with the suspension and formal reprimand, it makes several other disciplinary recommendations:
- Dhillon should issue a formal apology to the alleged victim and the general public
- Dhillon should be removed from various committees and his ability to travel outside the province for city business should be suspended
- Dhillon should be restricted to communications with the public only via e-mail
- That he be restricted from accessing municipal offices. He may attend city council meetings, however.
Dhillon has not been charged by any law enforcement agency in connection to the alleged incident, the report noted.
Peel Regional Police said they did interview the alleged victim on Nov. 21, 2019. But after consulting with the Crown Prosecutor’s office, it was decided that the Peel police did not have the jurisdiction to lay charges because the alleged incident occurred in Turkey.
“Our investigators made every effort to assist the RCMP and Turkish Police by forwarding all the information we had to the Turkish Police,” police said in a statement Friday.
Police added that they referred the woman to Victim Services for further support and that they maintain communication with her.
In a statement on Friday, the City of Brampton said they had received the report, and that the municipality has a code of conduct for members of the city council.
“Violations of the Code of Conduct are dealt with through the complaint protocol administered by the City’s integrity commissioner,” they said. “Council will consider the report and the recommendations of the integrity commissioner at the council meeting on Aug. 5, 2020.”
Late Friday evening, Dhillon released a letter through his lawyer denying the allegations.
“I completely deny the allegations and conclusions made in this report,” he wrote. “The investigation was flawed from the start and this report is riddled with inconsistencies.”
He said that this “is a one-sided, politically driven report,” and “it shows clear signs of overreach and disregard for procedural fairness. These deficiencies completely undermine the legitimacy of the investigation and the report.”
He added that he is “fighting back” and will be taking legal action in response.
Dhillon’s lawyer, Nader R. Hasan, said in an e-mail to CityNews that Dhillon “has launched an application for judicial review in Divisional Court challenging the validity of the report and the investigation.”