All’s well that ends well is the message from City Hall today as the lawsuit brought by former chief building official Bruce Poole has been settled through a mediated resolution. What that means, or how much the City paid, has not been disclosed, but on the bright side, we got the emails back!
“The City of Guelph has come to a mediated resolution with former Chief Building Official Bruce Poole to settle an outstanding litigation relating to Poole’s claim of wrongful dismissal,” said the city’s press release. “The mediated resolution settles all of the issues in dispute between the parties.”
“Details of the settlement are confidential and subject to a non-disclosure clause that both parties must observe,” the release added.
Poole had filed a $1 million lawsuit with the City for wrongful dismissal in 2015. He alleged that he was fired after bringing to the attention of City Hall numerous instances where City of Guelph properties didn’t comply with the Ontario Building Code. Before that, he said that the stress of the situation forced him to take a medical leaving during which he was demoted. The City said that no such demotion took place and that Poole’s concerns were not the reason he was fired.
As to the resolution of this legal dilemma, neither Poole nor the City is saying what the settlement entailed. Both Poole and Thomson declined comment in a story on Guelph Today this past weekend due to confidentiality clause in the agreement.
As to those 53,000 emails given to Poole’s lawyer that never should have been, the City has announced that they’ve received those back too. “The City has been able to confirm however that none of those documents were ever filed in court and, as such, are not part of any public record,” the release said. “The information that was unintentionally shared contained individual emails and calendar entries belonging to two former employees.”
Evidently, the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario is still looking into the matter, and the City says it is cooperating and has “begun putting steps in place to ensure an error of this kind does not reoccur.” Many of the emails in question came from former Deputy CAO and city treasurer Al Horseman, and is rumoured to have contained staff evaluations, and personal information about City of Guelph employees. Deputy CAO of Corporate Services Mark Amorosi was fired on February 9 because of the unauthorized release.