Adamee Komoartok quits the Nunavut legislature
Accused MLA resigns as of March 15, 5:00 p.m.
Pangnirtung MLA Adamee Komoartok has told his constituents that he will resign by 5:00 p.m. today (March 15.)
Speaking briefly in Inuktitut on the community radio at noon, Komoartok apologized for his behaviour, which led to a charge of assault in connection with an incident alleged to have occurred March 6 in Iqaluit.
In his apology, he said there was no excuse for what had happened, that he would take full responsibility, and would tender his resignation by 5:00 p.m. that day.
Early this afternoon neither the hamlet or the legislative assembly had received his resignation in writing.
But the hamlet issued a news release saying it agreed with Komoartok’s decision to resign. The council expressed its appreciation to him, but also said “elected officials must be held to the highest standard of behaviour.”
“I think he did the right thing to resign. It would be better for all of us, for him and for his family,” Pangnirtung mayor Sakiasie Sowdlooapik told Nunatsiaq News shortly after Komoartok finished speaking to the community. “We also thank him for the work he did as MLA, and also he did a lot of work in a very short time, but we as a hamlet council, we have a zero tolerance policy.”
Following Komoartok’s official resignation as MLA, cabinet will set a date for a by-election, which must be held within six months, to elect another member for Pangnirtung.
Sept. 12 marks the latest possible date for such a by-election.
Nunavut MLAs voted unanimously March 10 to suspend Komoartok, the MLA from sittings of the house, its meetings and its caucuses.
The suspension was to have remained in effect until members considered during the spring 2011 sitting whether to extend the suspension, end it, or take other action.
The motion, presented by Johnny Ningeongan, MLA for Nanulik, and seconded by Fred Schell, MLA for South Baffin, said also that the management and services board of the legislative assembly would “impose” deductions on Komoartok’s salary, recover allowances, and restrict use of his constituency budget and legislative funds during his suspension.
In the wake of the assembly’s disciplinary motion against Komoartuk, the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council issued a statement calling on MLAs to remove him from the assembly.
Police charged Komoartok, 57, with assault against his spouse, Penena Mosesee, 53, in connection with an incident that is alleged to have occurred March 6 in Iqaluit.