Ex-Ottawa union leader fired after misappropriation of funds

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A former union leader in Ottawa has now lost his lawyer’s license for “inappropriate behavior” after misusing funds for years – including money destined for recognized charities.

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Sheila Joy Stanislawski, 66, was for many years director of the Civic Institute of Professional Personnel (CIPP). Her career ended when she was released after financial irregularities were discovered in 2015. The former union leader was also a lawyer with a good reputation until now.

Stanislawski’s license was revoked by the Law Society of Ontario earlier this month. A disciplinary panel concluded that she used the union’s money accounts as her own personal bank account.

The Bar Association panel found that Stanislawski deliberately took annual holiday pay to which she was not entitled (amounts of about $ 100,000 before tax), deliberately used union money for her own purposes with at least $ 80,000 misused in this way, received money for expenses to be paid . to suppliers who were not actually paid and filed false expense claims, amended documents to support the false claims.

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“While Stanislawski expressed regret during the merits hearing for making mistakes, she has not expressed remorse or accepted responsibility for the offense we have found. In her evidence, she sought to place the responsibility for what happened on others. She has not demonstrated understanding of the effect of her offense on others, ”the bar association concluded.

Stanislawski was removed from his position in 2015 after serving about 18 years at CIPP, the negotiating agent for 1,800 municipal public employees in the Ottawa area.

She reached a settlement with CIPP that caused her to pay nearly $ 230,000 back in 2015.

Instead of admitting that he behaved inappropriately, Stanislawski fought against the rule of law and lost. Not only did Stanislawski lose, but the bar association has ordered her to pay reduced costs for investigation and prosecution.

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The former lawyer and union leader has been sentenced to pay the Bar Association $ 125,000, with annual payments of $ 25,000 starting May 30, 2022 and ending June 1, 2026. If Stanislawski misses a payment, the unpaid portion of the $ 125,000 in costs is immediately due for payment.

The union director was out of work for five years after the money scandal, but now works as the executive director of a senior organization in Ottawa.

Stanislawski testified that the law firm’s investigation and inappropriate behavior took a heavy toll on her and her family. She testified that she has insomnia and extreme anxiety. She testified that she sought help from her family doctor, who referred her for advice and recommended medication, and that she is seen weekly by a psychologist. Stanislawski did not cite medical evidence in this regard, the bar association noted.

gdimmock@postmedia.com

www.twitter.com/crimegarden

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