The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Town Council votes to suspend member

 

November 30, 2016



At a special meeting last Wednesday, the Whitehall Town Council voted to suspend member Francine Giono-Janik without pay.

The motion passed by the governing body states Council Member Janik will be suspended "until she fully discloses the full extent of her involvement with the installation of hidden cameras in the ambulance barn and her role as a consultant with Partners United For Life Saving Education (P.U.L.S.E.)."

According to Town Attorney Matthew Haus, the Council voted 5-0 on the motion that stated "Council Member Janik has engaged in improper conduct by failing to fully and truthfully disclose the extent of her involvement with the installation of hidden cameras in the ambulance barn and her role as a consultant for PULSE dba Jefferson Valley EMS."

Janik was not in attendance at the meeting.

In a meeting last month, Whitehall Mayor Dale Davis stated there had been hidden cameras found in the Whitehall Ambulance facility. Davis publically asked Janik if she had placed the cameras in the facility at the Nov. 14 Council meeting.

Janik told the Ledger Monday the reason she did not disclose anything about the cameras is because the Town of Whitehall turned it over for criminal investigation.

FRANCINE GIONO-JANIK

"Therefore it is against my constitutional right to disclose anything in a public meeting without legal council. Since the cameras were installed during my employment or maybe better quantified as volunteer position and they were removed prior to me taking office and before my last day as an employee they legally cannot take action against me as a Council Person," she said.

Janik said as far as her activities with P.U.L.S.E., she is not in a leadership role.

"I don't vote on anything, I am not on the board not on the committee. I do not receive anything from them monetarily. I volunteer 100 percent in providing some limited patient care. My consulting is just offering my expertise like I do for any ambulance in the state that asks for it."

Haus said the Council also discussed the prospect of providing information to the public regarding the impact of the passage of the Special Ambulance District on the Whitehall Ambulance Service. He said no action was taken, as it was only a discussion item.

 

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