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Police charge 81-year-old for harassing city councillor

Greater Sudbury Police Service charged an 81-year-old man with criminal harassment of a city councillor on May 21, noting the harassment began in 2022

An 81-year-old man has been arrested and charged with criminal harassment of a city councillor.

Detectives began investigating the matter on May 16, according to a media release by Greater Sudbury Police Service, after receiving a complaint from a Greater Sudbury city council member.

The harassment began in 2022, the media release said, and has continued, escalating from harassing communication to attending and harassing the councillor at their residence, causing them to fear for their safety.

The suspect was arrested and charged on May 21, and was later released on an undertaking with a court date of June 19. The name of the person charged has not been released, nor has the name of the city councillor in question.

“This is a reminder that there are proper and appropriate channels available to community members who are looking to contact public officials,” GSPS said in their media release. 

“Attending an individual’s private residence is not an appropriate avenue. Please be respectful of their privacy and the privacy and safety of their family members.”

This isn’t the first occasion a member of Greater Sudbury city council has reported being harassed. 

In 2021, then-mayor Brian Bigger reported a disturbance at his house. The harassment charge ended up withdrawn by 2023, and the suspect was released on a peace bond.

Also in 2021, Nickel Belt Liberal candidate Marc Serré reported being assaulted in his campaign office.

Last year, city council passed a Frivolous and Vexatious Complaints Policy, which aims to protect city staff from abusive behaviour. There have been numerous disruptions at public meetings in recent months, with protesters aggressively sharing conspiracy theories such as the 15-minute city.