Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors want to take some time before they adopt the recommendations included in the Inside Job, the ombudsman report on the Region’s CAO recruitment process, which was “unreasonable, unjust, and wrong.”
A lengthy investigation determined candidate Carmen D’Angelo, who was eventually handed the job, was given confidential information to help him succeed in his quest to become CAO. Some regional councillors and staff members were implicated in sharing information with D’Angelo during the hiring process.
In December, council adopted all 15 of the recommendations and requested that staff initiate implementation and report on current or future progress as soon as possible. A staff report presented to councillors this week indicates the Town already has some policies and practices in place that are relevant to some of the recommendations, and what staff can do to strengthen them.
One recommendation which is not covered by Town policy, is that before retaining external investigators, information should be obtained “about their skills, experience, and availability, so that council can make an informed decision about their qualifications for the position.” An earlier investigation of the hiring of the Regional CAO could find no wrong-doing. The Inside Job report indicated the depth of the investigation, including tracing email trails, that was necessary to uncover what had occurred.
Councillors decided to defer the matter because of the importance of the recommendations, to have the Town human resources staff person on hand during the discussion, and to allow time for extensive debate. They will hold a workshop at 5 p.m. Jan. 20, before next Monday’s council meeting. It will be in the council chamber and is open to the public.