Botha officially apologizes for ‘inappropriate’ online comments

By Tyler Marr
August 8, 2018 - 2:00pm Updated: August 8, 2018 - 4:51pm

Prince Albert City Councillor Evert Botha has officially apologized for what are described as “inappropriate, disrespectful and derogatory” comments he made online during a Raiders Hockey game.

The apology from the Ward 3 councillor stems from sanctions slapped against him in May as a result of a report of a potential violation of the Code of Ethics Bylaw that was reported to the executive committee April 9. The complaint alleged Botha violated Sections 9 and 10 of the ethics bylaw, which outlines the standards and values expected of council members when dealing with each other and employees at City Hall with his two online posts. Both have since been removed.

Council found Botha did violate the code of ethics and ushered through disciplinary action to remove him from all boards, committees, and official bodies, and his right to speak as a representative of council at public events for one year. It also required the public apology made Tuesday afternoon.

The comments criticize the music played by the DJ at a Raiders game. The first read, “Sweet Caroline? This DJ needs to get laid.” The second read, “Who plays soppy horse music at a hockey game? #GetADJ!” 

Fellow Ward 5 councillor Dennis Ogrodnick, who declined to comment on the situation, works as the DJ for the Raiders and other minor hockey events.

Botha’s apology that was read out Tuesday afternoon read: “I have breached the Code of Ethics and have embarrassed myself as well as the office I hold. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Council as a whole, the residents of The City of Prince Albert and the Prince Albert Raiders. I am truly sorry for the frustration and disappointment that I have caused, and it is my sincere hope that we can all move forward from this. 

It is our sworn duty to work together for this city and I regret the damage I have caused our relationship. It is not just our successes that mold (sic) us, but more-so how we learn from our failures. I have listened, learned and will forever be altered from this experience and I am now ready to move forward for the betterment of our community.”

The apology was submitted by Botha to the executive committee on July 24 and forwarded to Tuesday's meeting for formal approval.

After the meeting, Mayor Greg Dionne said it was “unfortunate” the situation occurred, though he was satisfied with the outcome.

“That is the world of social media and we are going to move on,” he said.

 

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On Twitter: @JournoMarr

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