In late June, trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board voted to find their colleague, Trustee Curtis Jordan, guilty of a Code of Conduct violation. The details of the violation were kept confidential, as is generally required by policy.
As a result of the vote, which Trustee Jordan was not allowed to take part in, he was immediately handed a six month suspension from attending Board of Trustees meetings. Following the vote, he was asked to sign out of the meeting to begin his suspension, and was told that he could rejoin as a spectator using the YouTube link available to the public. During the suspension, Trustee Jordan keeps his position – elected in 2022 to represent Ward 9 (Stormont and Glengarry). However, he will not be able to attend meetings or vote on the issues brought before the board.
Trustee Jordan accepted his suspension and logged off, but remained anything but quiet about it after the fact. He spoke to the Recorder and Times – a Brockville Newspaper – and made big claims about the reasons for his suspension.
“These allegations were very petty in nature,” said Trustee Jordan to the Recorder and Times. “I’ll admit I’ve made some mistakes. One of the mistakes I made was I wore blue jeans to a Board meeting.” He also claims that he was not always following parliamentary procedure in meetings because it was a learning experience. He is open about the fact that he is autistic, and believes that he is the only elected autistic official in Canada. “I was elected to have a voice at that table regardless of whether or not I’m communicating in perfect parliamentary procedure, and regardless of what I am wearing to that Board table,” he added.
The comments made to the Recorder and Times were picked up by many news agencies, a story seemingly painting the UCDSB as unduly harsh at best, and discriminatory at worst. In a twist to the story, the interview landed Trustee Jordan in even more hot water.
The Chair of the Board for the UCDSB, John McAllister, sent out a press release reading:
“The Board of Trustees for the Upper Canada District School Board strenuously objects to Trustee Curtis Jordan’s false statements to the Recorder and Times, as reported on July 14, 2023, which were shared across many media properties.
It is untrue that Trustee Jordan was disciplined for wearing blue jeans to a Board meeting, or for failing to observe parliamentary procedure.
Following an investigation, the Board of Trustees found that Trustee Jordan breached the Trustee Code of Conduct as a result of comments he made in response to a caution about the need to ensure that his expense claims comply with the Board’s Expense Reimbursement Policy. Trustee Jordan declined all of the opportunities he was offered to participate in the investigation and did not offer any response to the complaint made against him.
A second Code of Conduct complaint has now been filed against Trustee Jordan, alleging that he knowingly misrepresented the reasons for the sanctions imposed by the Board on June 21st, 2023.”
The new allegations against Trustee Jordan have not yet been investigated or put to a vote. It is unclear what sanctions he may receive if found guilty of a second offence during his suspension.