Mohawk Council chief Carl Horn faced mounting pressure after his second known drunk driving charge in late August, and decided to call it quits yesterday (September 19).
The Eastern Door broke the story of his appearance in Valleyfield Court August 20, where he faced three separate charges.
“Carl Horn…… did operate a motor vehicle, while his ability to drive or operate was impaired by alcohol or a drug, committing thereby the offence punishable on summary conviction provided by section 253(1) a) -255 (01) of the Criminal Code,” the first charge reads.
“Carl Horn.…. did operate a motor vehicle having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion thereof in his blood exceeded 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, committing thereby the offence punishable on summary conviction provided by section 253 (1) b)-255 (1) of the criminal code,” the second charge reads.
The third was related to breach of probation from a previous charge in 2007, in which he later pleaded guilty to impaired driving. He was sentenced to pay a $2,500 fine in that case.
The court date last month was related to a September 14, 2018 incident, where Horn was, according to the Crown, intoxicated behind the wheel in St. Isidore.
MCK grand chief Joe Norton confirmed the Council discussed the issue on Monday regarding Horn, but would not go into many details.
“We discussed at length the circumstance regarding the situation,” said Norton. “I guess everybody was aware there was something happening….it was semi-public in various media.
“Having had several discussions and exchanges with Carl, not just me but the Council itself, it came down to what the possibilities were, but before we had a chance to submit anything to him, he provided his resignation this morning (Thursday) around 11:30, so that kind of ends the situation as far as that goes.”
Horn was asked for a response, but texted “no comments,” to this reporter.
Horn had gotten into hot water a number of times over the course of his 10-year career as MCK chief, including an act of censure in March 2013 where he was suspended for four weeks without pay.
Horn was the lead on the Community Social Affairs portfolio and a member of Infrastructure, Transport and Operations, as well as Lands and Territories portfolio teams, according to Political attaché Joe Delaronde.
“We wish him the best of luck and to take care of his family and himself and make sure the future holds true for him,” said Norton.
“As far as we’re concerned we now have to prepare to share the load so to speak, because he did carry quite a few (portfolios).”
When asked about the dangers of drinking and driving especially as an elected official, Norton said, “It doesn’t only apply to Carl, it’s right across the board, for anybody drinking and driving in the community.
“You can’t identify one person and say they’re a danger; anybody who’s behind the wheel drinking is a danger,” he said.
A run off election will have to be held and Chief and Council are slated to discuss this issue in Monday’s regular meeting.
“I’m guessing there will be discussions regarding a by-election,” said Norton. “We still have substantial amount of time left in this mandate so there’s going to be a need to have a by-election.”
Horn was elected in 2009, 2012, 2015 and for a fourth time in July 2018.
Horn is scheduled to appear in Valleyfield Court next month for his second DUI charge, where he will either plead guilty or set a trial date, according to the Crown.
“We’re no longer involved but we do encourage Carl to do the right thing in terms of taking care of himself,” said Norton. “We are concerned about that.”
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Eastern Door Editor/Publisher Steve Bonspiel started his journalism career in January 2003 with The Nation magazine, a newspaper serving the Cree of northern Quebec.
Since that time, he has won numerous regional and national awards for his in-depth, impassioned writing on a wide variety of subjects, including investigative pieces, features, editorials, columns, sports, human interest and hard news.
He has freelanced for the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Windspeaker, Nunatsiaq News, Calgary Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, and other publications.
Among Steve's many awards is the Paul Dumont-Frenette Award for journalist of the year with the Quebec Community Newspapers Association in 2015, and a back-to-back win in 2010/11 in the Canadian Association of Journalists' community category - one of which also garnered TED a short-list selection of the prestigious Michener award.
He was also Quebec Community Newspapers Association president from 2012 to 2019, and continues to strive to build bridges between Native and non-Native communities for a better understanding of each other.