BRANDON — City manager Rod Sage has been placed on paid administrative leave, effective immediately, as a Brandon police investigation into an overdose death linked to his home continues.
"In council’s determination, an administrative leave is in the best interest of all parties at this time," a spokesperson for the City of Brandon said Tuesday. "The administrative leave will initially be for a period of six weeks, or possibly less if matters are resolved prior to then."
Brandon council held a special meeting Tuesday at noon to discuss the ongoing situation. Details were not immediately available.
The in-camera part of the meeting discussing Sage was labelled as a "personnel matter" in the meeting’s agenda. The public was not allowed to remain in the room for this portion. Sage was not present at the meeting.
Council’s move to place Sage on administrative leave follows the city manager’s decision last week to step back from the Brandon Police Board in the midst of an investigation into the 2019 death of Christine Robin Mitchell, 30.
Mitchell had been living in Sage’s home for almost five years, according to a CBC report last week. She was taken to hospital for a suspected overdose July 10, and later died in hospital.
Police became aware of Mitchell’s death July 11 from a member of the public and opened an investigation immediately, Brandon Police Service (BPS) Sgt. Kirby Sararas told the Brandon Sun last week.
The investigation is ongoing, and BPS is unable to disclose any details, officials said.
On Oct. 4 — three months after Mitchell’s death — Manitoba’s attorney general requested the RCMP review the circumstances of Mitchell’s death, as well as the BPS’s investigation. That review is also ongoing.
Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest told the Sun council will not be making any further comment on the matter while the investigations are ongoing.
"This is certainly not a scenario you’d like your organization to have to go through, but council’s continuing to deal with it thoroughly and appropriately," the mayor said Tuesday. "Providing an administrative leave is in the best interest of all parties at this time."
— Brandon Sun