Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The CAO Severance Package

What the heck is going on in this City?

The Mayor said by email

  • "This is to advise you that our Chief Administrative Officer, John Skorobohacz, has announced his resignation from the Corporation of the City of Windsor."

A few minutes later Mr. Skorobohacz sent out an email and he did not dispute that fact.

It's clear he was not terminated for cause or without cause since the Mayor said this about him and Mr. Tyagi:

  • "The mayor said the moves have nothing to do with job performances. Both departing individuals "were absolutely valuable," he said."

Some of us I am sure were surprised that the former CAO got a severance package when he resigned on his own. The Star tells us that

  • "Under his work contract, Francis said Skorobohacz will be paid a severance of 15 months salary, 12.5 months if he finds a new job."

What was the basis of this payment? Listen to the clip above. It was part of the agreement for bringing him back when he was recruited.

That did not seem too unreasonable to me since he had just left Windsor and now was leaving his new employer to come back and so he needed some inducement for the disruption.

However, and this is the really weird part, if you go to Chris Schnurr's BLOGsite he was told that there was NO formal Employment Agreement at all.

  • "I am attaching the offer of employment for John Skorobohacz, as you requested. Please note that the offer of employment letter is the final document and as such there is no “formal employment agreement” as referred to in the attached documents."

That to me is astounding considering it is such a senior position.

Oh there was the Letter "Offer of Employment" but it was subject to a formal agreement being signed that had to be negotiated and finalized between the parties. No more Jane Boyd messes for Eddie. The Letter was nothing more than "general parameters."

Clearly there were more terms that needed dealing with. However, it appears that this was never done.

Here is the other strange part....The only clause dealing with a severance package in the Letter was if John was terminated without cause. In that case he would receive 10 months of salary plus some indefinite amount per year of service up to a maximum of 18 months salary.

I did not see any kind of term as set out in the clip above dealing with a payment if he resigned nor any kind of payment scheme as described nor even the amounts mentioned.

Where the heck was that found since it was not in the Letter and there was no formal employment Contract?

So being curious, I emailed all of the Councillors for help:

  • "Subject: CAO resignation payment

    Considering the BLOG posted by Chris Schnurr, was there an employment contract between the City and the former CAO

    There is certainly nothing in there about making a payment in the event that the CAO resigned.

    Would you please explain to me therefore the reason why the CAO received several hundred thousand dollars from the City when he chose to resign and there was NO legal obligation to pay the former CAO anything.

    I would also like to know the reason why no such employment contract was ever entered into even though 5 years passed after the letter was signed."

So far no responses except from Councillor Jones:

  • "Sir. I have asked in the past if you woyld please remove me from your mailout list. I will kindly ask again. Thank you. Ron Jones"

And my response

  • "This is NOT my mailout list but a letter to City Councillors for which I, as a taxpayer of this City, am entitled to an answer from you and your colleagues."

Not one word at Council about it either. I guess no one cares.

Ahhhhh, Democracy inaction in Windsor! Ain't it grand.