Facebook accusations which are currently under investigation by the RCMP against Sylvan Lake town councillor Kjeryn Dakin filtered into the public domain at a council meeting on May 23.
Community members spoke in support of Dakin at the meeting, after a post on Facebook on May 21 made by Tyler Braun claimed councillor Dakin slapped him while he was in her restaurant, Bukwildz. Braun is associated with Public House Social & Eatery, another establishment in Sylvan Lake.
“Never in my life have I ever expected to be physically assaulted by an owner of a business until last night. After opening our restaurant, Public House in Sylvan Lake, going into Bukwildz is apparently off limits unless you want to be harassed and slapped across the face by the owner simply because you started a business,” Braun said in a post on Facebook.
“If I slapped anyone in my establishment, let alone someone for owning another business in our town, what do you guys think would happen? Would that be appropriate? Would that be professional? I’m pretty sure that would be assault.”
The post had 443 shares and 659 comments as of Thursday afternoon, one of which was by Dakin herself. Dakin did not deny that she slapped Braun.
“Tyler you were so rude! If this is your way of getting business this is exactly why I’m mad at you for what you said last night? Why do you come in and talk about me? Stay out of my place. Thanks,” Dakin commented.
“You came at me and it was hardly a slap buddy. Leave me alone for real.”
When reached for comment, Dakin declined to comment further on the matter.
Prior to the open mic session at council, Mayor Megan Hanson addressed the audience in attendance about the council and committee code of conduct and the formal complaint process.
“Any person who is identified or has witnessed conduct of a member that a person reasonably believes in good faith is a contravention of this bylaw may file a formal complaint in accordance with the following procedure. All complaints shall be made in writing and shall be dated and signed by an identifiable individual. Please note that in writing is the only way we receive formal complaints,” Hanson said.
Upon receiving a complaint under the bylaw council then meets in a confidential session excluding the member concerned to decide whether to proceed in investigating the complaint or not.
All proceedings of council regarding a code of conduct investigation occur in closed sessions, Hanson said.
“We don’t handle complaints on councillors in public forums.”
Despite a large audience, only three could speak during the open mic session and all three spoke about having the need to be there in support of Kjeryn.
“Ever since I’ve known her I’ve witnessed her passion for helping the community in every possible way. I’ve seen how her eyes light up when she talks about supporting her people, her town, her community. Her loyalty is to the people of Sylvan Lake and I know she always thinks about them,” Carlos A Siguenza said.
“I just wanted to say that I know what Kjeryn does. The iceberg that we see only the tip of. I just wanted to be here to support Kjeryn,” MJ Brytus said.
Each person who spoke was met with applause from others who attended.
More information on the code of conduct bylaw is available to view on the town’s website.
The town was not available to comment and they will not be making comments until the process is complete.
The RCMP confirmed on Thursday that the allegation is under investigation.