Skip to content

Possible sanctions against Coun. Vagnini deferred to August

City integrity commissioner Robert Swayze has asked for his report, which recommends a 40-day pay suspension for Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini, to be deferred until Aug. 9 due to new information coming forward which has required him to reopen his investigation
300622_michael vagnini 2000x1333
Michael Vagnini is the Greater Sudbury city councillor for Ward 2.

A report calling for sanctions against Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini has been deferred until Aug. 9 due to new information coming forward to city integrity commissioner Robert Swayze. 

City council was originally poised to vote on Swayze’s recommendation during Tuesday night’s city council meeting, which might have seen Vagnini penalized 40 days’ pay for what was described in the report as “vulgar and disrespectful” behaviour. 

This included three complaints, of which one was dismissed. 

The dismissed complaint centred around Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc’s claim Vagnini threatened his life, which Vagnini denied and which North Bay Police Service determined there were “insufficient grounds” to proceed with charges on. 

The complaints deemed relevant to Swayze’s investigation include: 

  • Vagnini spread alleged misinformation about the city’s homeless community through a YouTube video including various claims refuted by city administration. Vagnini said in response to city administration’s feedback that he did not believe them.
  • Vagnini allegedly used inappropriate language with a deputy chief of the fire department, including “F*** off,” “Don’t try to tell me this s***,” and “This is bull***t ****. Don’t play that f***ing game with me.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting, city CAO Ed Archer clarified to Sudbury.com the deferral was in response to new information he brought to Swayze after following up with an employee who provided a prior complaint.

On Tuesday night, Vagnini took to social media to criticize the actions taken against him.

In his post, Vagnini claimed he has been “exonerated from the two month investigation by Northbay (sic) police services.” 

Despite Vagnini’s use of the word, the North Bay Police Service investigation was not an exoneration. In a media release issued March 28, North Bay Police Service reported there were “insufficient grounds to proceed with criminal charges.”

Vagnini also wrote about being “exonerated” through a police investigation into a claim Mayor Brian Bigger made that Vagnini’s trailer damaged the underground parking structure at Tom Davies Square, although this has nothing to do with the complaints Swayze has reported on. 

“I will not take Any legal action against any of my colleagues and/or reporting a complaint to the integrity commissioner,” Vagnini wrote. 

“I believe in the old way of doing things where are you go up and talk to the person directly, I do believe there are better ways of spending taxpayers dollars.”

Sudbury.com reached out to Vagnini by phone, text and email, but have yet to receive a response. 

In Swayze’s initial report, which was originally to be discussed by city council this week, Swayze recommended a 40-day pay suspension against Vagnini. Depending on how he treats the new information presented to him, which re-opened his investigation, Swayze could recommend a pay cut of up to 90 days. 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.