Update: DeGagne, CAO without job seeks legal counsel

Don DeGagne, the CAO who learned last week he was no longer hired by the City of Williams Lake, confirmed he has retained legal counsel.

Update:

Don Degagne contacted the Tribune by e-mail Tuesday saying the news article about him no longer being hired by the City of Williams Lake suggested he had shown up for work unaware of the termination.

“In fact the mayor had communicated the termination to me. However, the termination was not valid so I attended at the city hall to honour my contract and deliver a written response,” DeGagne said.

Original story:

Don DeGagne, the chief administrative officer who learned last week he was no longer being hired by the City of Williams Lake, confirmed he has retained legal counsel.

Based on legal advice, he said he has also asked the city to retract a media release in which the city stated it had decided not to hire him.

“I have asked them to retract their Feb. 28 media release as it is inaccurate,” DeGagne said in an e-mail to the Tribune Monday.

DeGagne and his girlfriend relocated to Williams Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 26 with the intention of starting his job as CAO for the city on Friday, Mar. 1. as per his contract.

“I can confirm that we had secured a residence and had moved in,” DeGagne said. “My girlfriend had been in contact with School District 27 regarding work as a teacher-on-call. We are understandably very shocked and distressed by what transpired thereafter.”

In that Feb. 28 press release the city said mayor and council had decided DeGagne would not be appointed as CAO for the city.

“We have great respect for the many years of experience, accomplishments and skills that Mr. DeGagne has to offer,” Cook noted in the release, adding council has decided that he was “not the best fit for our particular needs at this time.”

The city said it will continue its search for a new CAO, and the city wished DeGagne the best of luck.

“We are confident that, with his experience, accomplishments and skills, he will have success in his future endeavours.”

The Tribune was told that DeGagne showed up for work on Friday not knowing his contract had been severed.

Cook, however,  said she met with DeGagne face to face on Wednesday to tell him the city had changed its mind and that she followed up by a phone conversation with him on Thursday.