Controversial Niagara Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo Is Finally Gone!

D’Angelo Reportedly Quit the CAO Job Late This January and –Believe It Or Not – Has Filed a Lawsuit Against the Region for “Constructive Dismissal”

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted February 4th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Region’s embattled CAO Carmen D’Angenlo, who has reportedly been off on medical leave since late last year, has now quit his job and is suiing the Region.

According to at least two news reports, members of Niagara’s Regional Council received an email this February 4th that the Region’s besieged CAO Carmen D’Angelo, who has been off on medical leave from his $230,000-plus benefits job for more than a month now, quit the job late this January.

D’Angelo, who has been a subject of growing evidence reported to the media over the past year that he received unfair advantages in getting the job in the first place, then had his contract for the position extended by former Regional Chair Al Caslin and others without the knowledge and approval of the Region’s council and the public that ultimately pays him, has also filed a lawsuit against the Region, claiming constructive dismissal.

Al Caslin, then Niagara Region’s Chair, sits to the left of then CAO Carmen D’Angelo at a Regional Council meeting more than a year ago. In last October’s municipal elections, Caslin polled almost last in a field of more than 20 candidates running for a seat on the Region’s council in St. Catharines. Former St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley polled first and is now the Region’s Chair.

Generally speaking, constructive dismissal involves circumstances where an employee feels that have little or no choice but to leave or quit their job, not because they want to, but because of the conduct of an employer.

All of this – D’Angelo going on medical leave, then quitting and suing the Region – has taken place while the Region’s new council and the public at large awaits the findings of an investigation into the circumstances around D’Angelo’s hiring and contract extension that was launched last year by Ontario’s Ombudsman.

Some sources suggest that the findings of the Ombudsman’s report could be released within a matter of weeks.

And if those findings  confirm what has already been reported through documents and other information obtained mostly by The St. Catharines Standard – reports D’Angelo while he was still the CAO of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in 2016, wrongly received lists of other people applying the Region’s CAO job and received information about the questions he would be asked during the job interview – this looks more like a case of constructive hiring, without the knowledge of most if not all on the Region’s council and the public at large.

For the sake of the taxpaying public and to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, let’s hope that Niagara’s regional government is retaining the best lawyers possible to fight any suit that D’Angelo and any others pursue in this matter.

One of the demonstrations a group of Niagara citizens staged outside the Region’s headquarters last year following reports that the process used to hire Carmen D’Angelo to the CAO’s job may have been tainted.

Depending on what findings are ultimately confirmed in this case, let’s also hope that the Region is willing to consider counter suits and that require individuals on the other side to cover whatever amount all of this has cost the taxpayers.

If the findings of the Ombudsman and courts back up what has been reported about this sorry episode, the Region should be tough as all hell with anyone found to have played a hand in all of this.

Since D’Angelo began what was reported to be his “medical leave” late last year, Niagara Region’s recently sworn in Chair, Jim Bradley, and the Council appointed the Region’s public works commissioner, Ron Tripp, to serve as acting CAO.

Now a wide open, publicly advertised search for a new full-time CAO (chief administrative officer) will soon get underway.

To read reports posted earlier in the day on this, click on the following links –

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9159475-all-the-chairs-men-d-angelo-quits-and-sues-niagara-region/?fbclid=iwar10k6xeydi8qrgyknhcvkghpuh5qvng737pxywnvlvvgolt9qxjnje2qym#.XFij2-hOFjY.twitter .

And –

http://www.iheartradio.ca/610cktb/news/breaking-carmen-d-angelo-is-out-as-niagara-s-cao-grant-lafleche-1.8712065

Just as a remember, here is the screen that shows the recorded vote in October of 2016 of those on Al Caslin’s Niagara Regional Council l who voted “Yes” for Carmen D’Angelo’s hiring and the handful of councillors who voted “No”

As usual, Peter Gill, a retired Niagara Regional Police officer who made an unsuccessful bid in St. Catharines last October for a seat on the Region’s council, makes a point Niagara At Large has no argument with in the following message he posted on Facebook –

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

3 responses to “Controversial Niagara Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo Is Finally Gone!

  1. Already Niagara Regional staff and our new Regional Council are circling the ‘Regional government wagons’.

    Senior staff state they can offer no public comment and our new Regional Chair also only offers ‘No Comment’.
    ‘Public servants’ who are paid with tax dollars are supposedly accountable to the public. In this case the public are not even being asked.
    This ‘brave’ new Council promised ‘transparency’. After just two months that appears to be a lost campaign ‘promise’ already.

    d’Angelo received the highest public sector salary at the NPCA as CAO after questionable hiring practices, never publicly explained. He then appears to have walked into the Region’s CAO’s chair in exactly the same manner. And although he himself is alleged to have admitted to abusing the hiring process, enjoyed an even larger salary as the Region’s CAO. Additionally he has been authorizing unknown $ Thousands(if not more)of legal fees, also tax dollars, to deflect any attempt to investigate those questionable hiring practices?
    And now this new Regional Council, and their staff, appear to be willing to go down the road of even more in camera meetings(so much for transparency)whilst they explore what is the best ‘deal’ they can come up with?
    This is not any type of ‘new transparent governance’ but merely kicking the can down the road yet again, maybe a ‘new’ Regional Council, but already, apparently, just the same old, same old.
    At least this Council did show a tiny bit of backbone by declaring the Caslin contract extension for d’Angelo null and void.
    Shame they did not have the backbone also to terminate his current contract and instead gave him the option of ‘quitting’ and claiming he was somehow unfairly harassed out of his job.
    He has certainly made the best use of his over two months absence from Regional Council Meetings, his 8 weeks of sick leave, all on full tax dollars salary(?)plus a refusal to make a single public comment!
    I wonder just how many other Regional senior staff members, and others, may be planning on just how much of a tax paid ‘meal ticket’ they may be in line for if this Regional Council ever shows enough character to sack them?
    It is interesting to note that among the most vocal on this new Regional Council, about how they would ensure this Council does not govern like the last, and who were actually re elected, saw no problem in being a part of the ‘caucus’ who voted for d’Angelo’s appointment as Regional CAO that first time around?
    What a total waste of time this past municipal election is beginning to seem in Niagara after just two months.
    Andrew Watts

    Like

  2. Robert Milenkoff

    With the latest move from the former Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo filing a lawsuit for constructive dismissal against the Niagara Region it is just something else Mr. D’Angelo can add to his resume’ when looking for his next job ……………………… that is if he can find one.

    Like

  3. D’angelo should not have been in this position since Day 1 – nevermind the extension. Next we will hear Alan Caslin claiming wrongful dismissal by the voters in St. Catharines.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Andrew Watts Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.