“On behalf of Regional Council, I want to unequivocally restate our position that the actions of the former regional chair (Al Caslin), and his staff (former regional execs Jason Tamming and Robert D’Amboise), were entirely inappropriate and truly inexcusable for any individual holding public office or serving in a position of influence.” – current Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley following the settlement of an $850,000 lawsuit this March 9th, filed by the Region more than three years ago against the trio.
A Brief News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 11th, 2023 on Niagara At Large
Niagara’s current regional council and supporting staff have reached what they are coming right out in a news release and calling a “confidential” settlement with former Niagara regional chair Al Caslin and two of Caslin’s then senior staff, Jason Tamming and Robert D’Ambrose.
The lawsuit – seeking an $850,000 claim that broke down to $500,000 against Caslin, $250,000 against D’Ambrose and $100,000 against Tamming, for their alleged roles in the controversial 2016 hiring of Carmen D’Angelo to the Region’s top job, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) – a position D’Angelo vanished from following the 2018 municipal elections that saw Caslin soundly defeated.
According to what little Niagara’s regional government is willing to tell us about the settlement in a news release, it can at lease continue to call the actions of Caslin and the other two egregious and can also continue to agree with the findings of an Ontario Ombudsman’s 2019 report called ‘Inside Job’on the CAO hiring controversy.
That seems like almost a joke of a win – if you can call this a win – considering all of the garbage members of the public, members of the Region’s staff and some members of the Region’s council were put through during Caslin’s four year (from 2014 to 2018) reign as chair.
And of course we will probably never know how much this lawsuit and its settlement has cost regional taxpayers who, by the way, face an unprecedented 7.58 per cent hike this year on the Region’s slice of the property tax bill for homeowners.
But just as an extra smack in the face for all those who found the Caslin council years dark and disturbing, some in the regional government found it fitting this past year to hang a portrait of Al Caslin in the lobby of the Niagara Regional Headquarters, along with portraits of other past regional chairs more worthy of the honour.
How depressing it is that Niagara residents visiting the Region’s headquarters have to look up and see that portrait after paying another installment on their property taxes.
By the way, even if the Region managed to collect $850,000 in a lawsuit against these characters, it is hard to imagine that it would ever make up for the loss of so many competent and dedicated regional staff people that quit working for our regional government during the Caslin years.
Niagara At Large will have more to post on this in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned.
Now here is the news release on the settlement of the lawsuit from Niagara’s regional government –
Niagara Region resolves lawsuit regarding the compromised 2016 CAO hiring process
On March 9, 2023, the Niagara Region reached a settlement with former regional chair Alan Caslin, and his staff Jason Tamming and Robert D’Amboise, regarding the compromised hiring of the Region’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in 2016.
The resolved lawsuit against Caslin, Tamming and D’Amboise claimed those individuals breached their duty of good faith and duty of confidentiality to the Region in their involvement of hiring former CAO Carmen D’Angelo.
The Niagara Region maintains its position that the actions of Caslin, D’Amboise and Tamming were egregious and occurred in precisely the manner that was described in the Ontario Ombudsman’s “Inside Job” investigation report.
The terms of the settlement are confidential and the Niagara Region will not be making any comments on what is included in those terms.
“On behalf of Regional Council, I want to unequivocally restate our position that the actions of the former regional chair, and his staff, were entirely inappropriate and truly inexcusable for any individual holding public office or serving in a position of influence. The facts as they were laid out by the Ombudsman speak for themselves and the actions of Caslin, D’Amboise and Tamming shook the public’s trust in Regional government. In short, Niagara’s tax payers deserved far better from their elected officials. We remain unwaveringly confident that should this matter have proceeded to be heard by a judge we would have proven our claims. With this issue behind us, Regional Council will continue to put our constituents first and make a positive impact on the residents of Niagara.”
~ Regional Chair Jim Bradley
To read a related post, click on the following links –
Niagara Region settles lawsuit against former Chair Caslin and his staff over hiring of CAO (iheartradio.ca)
Niagara Region’s CAO hiring was ‘inside job’, provincial ombudsman rules in report | CBC News
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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders
In an article published in April of 2019 stating that the majority of Regional council had voted not to pursue action against Al Caslin because he ”suffered enough” and was humiliated in his electoral defeat of 2018 really has to make you wonder what went on recently behind closed doors. If the same councilors were willing to take a blind eye in 2019 what makes you think they have changed their minds now?
(Niagara Regional Chair) Jim Bradley admits that if this case would have gone to court the region would have won. Mr. Bradley is right on one thing, the taxpayer deserves better and to cover this up without letting the results out to the public is not only shameful it is unacceptable. This investigation has cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars but it appears its business as usual at the Region.