After months of missing committee and council meetings at Ottawa City Hall, Innes Coun. Jody Mitic is now on a formal leave of absence.
Council approved his leave near the end of Wednesday’s meeting, appointing east-end councillors Tim Tierney, Bob Monette and Stephen Blais to oversee the files in Mitic’s ward. One of Mitic’s staffers is already on leave to run for election in October’s municipal election.
It’s not clear whether Mitic, who earlier this year announced he would not be seeking re-election, will return to City Hall before the end of the term. He’s on leave with pay.
Depression, addiction issues
An Afghan war veteran, Mitic lost both legs below the knee in 2007 when he stepped on a landmine. In a memoir published in 2015, he spoke of his struggle with depression and his addiction issues following the war.
Those issues appeared to resurface late last year. He was depressed and had issues with pain killers after no longer being able to wear his prosthetic legs, the one-term councillor said last December.
Mitic announced he was taking some time to deal with his issues, but was never formally on leave.
He also published a second book, Everyday Heroes, in 2017.
If councillors miss meetings for several months in a row, they could lose their seats — unless they apply to council for permission. That’s why council had to approve Mitic’s leave, which it did unanimously.
It’s not the first time a councillor has had to request a formal leave. Blais was on leave in 2013 after suffering a heart attack at the gym.