Sometimes a Trail Times story will elicit responses from several readers wanting to know more about the narrative.
In this case it was the June 29 article titled “Trail CAO leaving job,” wherein the story revealed that long-time Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) David Perehudoff was leaving his position early because a third party investigation into a code of conduct violation by Coun. Robert Cacchioni did not bring about a resolution between the two parties.
Readers wanted to know more about this matter, which is tricky to cover because the topic is labour-related and details about labour relations often remain confidential.
The subject, however, did surface during the public question period at the regular council meeting held June 28 via Zoom. So there are a few additional details to report.
An East Trail resident and business owner submitted two questions to council that she wanted answered.
“What is the full cost to the city for the early retirement of our CAO David Perehudoff?” she asked via email. She also asked, “Will there be a lawsuit coming regarding the breach of the code of conduct by Councillor R. Cacchioni?”
Michelle McIsaac, corporate administrator, tackled the queries, starting with a correction to the first question.
“It’s important to first clarify that Mr Perehudoff did not resign his position,” McIsaac began. “He did file a complaint against a council member under the council code of conduct … that the city has in place. A third party investigation was completed and there was an underlying potential claim that council had to deal with to reduce the city’s risk and financial exposure.”
Regarding the full cost to the city, McIsaac revealed that an agreement was reached releasing Perehudoff of his contractual obligations to perform work after Sept. 30, 2021.
Further, the agreement also includes a nine-month continuance of salary and benefits – from Oct. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 – which is the end of Perehudoff’s existing contract.
“This comes at an estimated cost of $255,000 in salary and benefit costs for that time period,” McIsaac continued.
“I should also note there will potentially be an overlap or duplication of CAO salary once a new CAO can be recruited later this year. The number of months of overlap is unknown at this time so it would be impossible to quantify what that cost will be.”
As well, McIsaac said there will be some salary adjustments related to the redistribution of Perehudoff’s responsibilities in the interim and those costs are yet to be quantified.
To date, the legal cost the city has faced dealing with this claim is estimated between $40,000 and $50,000.
“The second question … if a lawsuit is coming with respect to the breach of council code of conduct by Coun. Robert Cacchioni,” she said. “The answer to that is ‘No.’ There will be no lawsuit forthcoming as a result of the complaint filed.”
Outside of this, it is unlikely any more details will be revealed as four members of council – Carol Dobie, Eleanor Gattafoni-Robinson, Colleen Jones, and Robert Cacchioni – voted against releasing the third party investigation report to the public.
Also nixed by councillors Dobie, Gattafoni-Robinson, Jones and Cacchioni was a motion to publicly release minutes of a June 10 special closed council meeting that deals with council’s decision-making on options provided by the third party investigator.