Good News for Citizens of Niagara, Not So Good for Former Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo

Scales of Justice Are Tipping in the Right Direction for We, The People

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted September 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Former Niagara Region CAO Carmen D’Angelo may not be having the best of weeks.

Unless I am mistaken, I’m guessing that the last six or seven days have proven to be far from the best of times for one of the individuals at the centre of the ongoing controversy and legal machinations over the 2016 hiring of Carmen D’Angelo for the top administrative job at Niagara Region.

And yes, with reference to news that has unfolded over the last six or seven days, I am talking about the now former Niagara Regional CAO himself – Carmen D’Angelo.

First it was reported September 1st in one of Niagara’s daily newspapers, The St. Catharines Standard, that this past August 28th, that Ontario Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Sheard ruled against D’Angelo’s efforts to keep relevant documents tied to his 2016 hiring sealed or under wraps.

The same court ruled that the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) must turn over to Niagara’s regional government and any other parties pursuing legal action over the D’Angelo hiring any relevant digital files between the then Al Caslin administration at the Region and D’Angelo while he was still serving as CAO at the NPCA.

In 2016, at least some Niagara citizens strongly protested Angelo’s hiring at the Region

Then this September 2nd we learn online, and learn again this September 3rd, in another front-page story s in The St. Catharines Standard, that contrary to reports earlier this year, the Ontario Provincial Police’s anti-racketeering unit is still investigating circumstances around the same 2016 hiring controversy.

In other words, an OPP probe into this whole highly troubling affair is still open.

All of this as Niagara’s regional government, and its council under the leadership of its current Chair Jim Bradley, continues to pursue lawsuits against D’Angelo, former regional chair Al Caslin and others allegedly involved in the whole hiring mess.

For residents across Niagara, and for staff at the regional government level and at the NPCA, who found this hiring business so troubling, along with so many of the other things that unfolded under the leadership of D’Angelo, Caslin and their many enablers, I’m betting that they are receiving the reports of the past number of days as good news.

It gives reason to to hope that justice in this whole dark affair – summed up in a detailed Ontario Ombudsman’s report last year as an “inside job – is moving in the right direction.

It is likely impossible to ever determine how much this whole business has cost the taxpayers of Niagara in terms of all of the time it has taken up in legal and consultant fees, in regional council time that could have been used more constructively addressing the peoples’ business, and in the loss of good staff and the blow to staff morale, both at the regional government level and at the NPCA.

Fortunately, it appears that staff morale has improved significant at both bodies since 2018, with new council and administrative leadership at the Region and a new board of directors and new administrators at the NPCA.

That should never forgive all of the costly damage done to governance and to individuals’ professional and personal lives prior to the change in leadership, however.

The old days prior to 2019, when Al Caslin, left, was Niagara regional chair and Carmen’D’Angelo to Caslin’s right was sitting in the CAO’s chair.

So let all good people across Niagara hope that our current regional council ’s stands firm in pursuing legal actions against whoever allegedly caused all of this damage, and that justice is finally done for the people the Region serves.

Here are links to The Standard reports, and to a 2016 reported posted in Niagara At Large when D’Angelo was hired –

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