Monday February 12, 2007

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday February 12, 2007

Bernie Morelli, Misuse of Power

A confidential report says Councillor Bernie Morelli bullied a city licensing inspector who feared the veteran politician could have him fired.

An outside investigator retained by the city has ruled Morelli crossed a line in a heated exchange with employee Michael Francoeur two years ago and should undergo sensitivity training.

A report obtained by The Spectator states Morelli “personally harassed” the inspector and implied he could influence the man’s job. Morelli denies threatening the employee, but has apologized for the heated exchange.

The veteran politician acknowledges he went to the taxi inspection office to question why Francoeur pulled a taxi off the road for failing an inspection.

According to the report, the inspector alleges Morelli lost his temper and threatened to have him fired.

Francoeur told the investigator that the politician said “I’m a powerful man in this city so don’t f— with me.”

Morelli denies making a vulgar threat, but acknowledges he was “passionate and assertive.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)