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Friday, May 13th, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement from Mayor Joanne Savage Regarding On-going HR and Civil Litigation Files
As Mayor of the Municipality of West Nipissing, I am providing the following statement to address certain misconceptions that may exist by some in our community related to the ongoing files involving the termination of two employees and the subsequent decision to pursue legal action against a local contractor. As indicated several times in the past, the Mayor, Council and senior staff are limited in what they can and can’t say regarding this file. It involves potential liability due to human resource issues and issues of civil litigation. Having said that, I must correct certain misconceptions that seem to be taking hold by some.
The CAO is not acting alone without Council’s approval.
Both the human resources portion and the civil litigation portion were, at all times, discussed with Council. Though difficult decisions had to be made, Council supported the recommended course of action. Council continues to be updated on every development as new information comes forward.
It is important for the public to know that our CAO, in his 16 years of experience, has always ensured that this Council, as well the five previous Councils, are informed and have a say in the decisions that have such a great impact on our residents.
Senior staff are not acting without the appropriate professional advice.
This file is obviously very sensitive and controversial. We knew that the actions would be poorly received by some. The individuals that have been negatively affected are residents in this community. We did not take our actions lightly. To ensure that proper course of action, at all times, staff have been working with professionals to assist them. Whether it be lawyers specializing in municipal law, contract law or human resources law or whether it be professional accountants and investigators trained to handle such situations, staff has not been acting without support.
Your Mayor and Council wish to assure you that, at all times, we have been acting in the best interest of the public we serve. Unfortunately, given that these civil cases often take time, this matter will not be resolved quickly. In the interim, I want to assure residents that we are continuing to work on your behalf to carry out the projects and initiatives discussed and approved at Budget time….