Hired and un-hired city CAO files civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court

The man who was hired and then un-hired for a vacant CAO position in Williams Lake has filed a civil claim in the Supreme Court of B.C.

Don DeGagne, the man who was hired and then un-hired for a vacant CAO position in Williams Lake, filed a civil claim against the city in the Supreme Court of B.C. on May 8.

The city has 21 days of being served the claim to respond or make a counter claim.  City executive assistant Heather Sylvester respondend by e-mail Monday that she inquired and the city would not be making comments to media.

DeGagne’s file of claim states he was wrongfully dismissed when the city breached his employment contract and terminated him without cause, proper notice or pay in lieu of notice.

He has claimed damages for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract including aggravated, punitive and special damages.

On Feb. 5 at a city council meeting, Mayor Kerry Cook announced the city was “pleased” to have hired DeGagne as CAO and that he would start work on March 1.

Three weeks later on Feb. 28, however, the city sent out a press release stating that mayor and council had decided DeGagne would not be appointed as the CAO, and that the city would continue the search for a new one.

The press release noted: “DeGagne was not the best fit for the city’s needs at this time.”

In the court document, DeGagne outlined a series of events that led to his termination. He noted Cook phoned him to congratulate him in the middle of February, and said she was excited about his commencement of work as CAO.

“She further stated that she was sorry about bringing him into some troublesome issues, particularly the labour dispute with the union representing city employees and a court action between the city and the Cariboo Regional District.”

DeGagne followed up with an e-mail to the human resources manager expressing his desire to become more informed about the labour dispute. He also sent an e-mail to the corporate officer of the city requesting information on the court action.

On Feb. 26, DeGagne and his girlfriend moved to Williams Lake from Summerland. The next day, Feb. 27, the mayor requested a meeting with him,  gave him a termination letter and advised him the city was terminating his contract.

The letter stated: “your recent communication regarding the current labour dispute has rekindled reservations that members of council had at the time of offering you the CAO position. Council’s confidence that you will be able to exercise the sound judgement council is looking for in its CAO has been seriously shaken and caused it to reconsider its decision.”

He also alleged council did not allow him an opportunity to be heard or to respond to the news of his termination.

DeGagne did not respond to the Tribune’s request for comments.


Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read