Cornwall Ontario City Council hold in camera meeting at secret location – The Benson Centre – November 9, 2011

Le Journal's Greg Kielec measures his shot.

CFN –  Cornwall City Council held an in Camera meeting this afternoon.   It was ultra quiet and the location was not revealed.     I only discovered it as I was on tour with many of the councilors and city management on a tour of some of the very impressive construction projects going on in Cornwall at the moment.

Speculation and a comment given only after agreement to stay anonymous speculated that the meeting was in relation to Robert Menagh, Human Resources Manager for the city after two cases went public involving his office.

There is the Marie Anne Pilon case  where the city lost before a the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal who the tribunal stated was fired rather than accommodated over her disability after 24 years of service.

A note from her doctor indicated the colitis had worsened, and she should not be required to return to her job in the finance department. But rather than
attempt to find Pilon a position elsewhere with the city, Menagh challenged her claim for employment insurance – a first for Cornwall. However, his argument that Pilon had quit and should be unable for the benefits, was denied during a board of referees hearing.

Menagh then sent a letter to Pilon asking her to report back to work in July 2006, but she referred him to the doctor’s note and said her medical condition continued to prevent her from being on the job. Menagh said she was capable of working, and if she didn’t her employment with the city would be over.

“Mr. Menagh continued to disregard the applicant’s claim of illness,” Muir said.

“I also find that in deciding to end the applicant’s employment in July 2006, the … city and Mr. Menagh failed in their obligation to accommodate her,”
he added.

And there is the Diane Shay case that also hit the public recently.  The city was fined after Ms Shay was warned after whistle blowing  over an issue while working at Glen Stor Dun Lodge, the city run facility for the aged.   LINK

Both Cornwall and its human resources manager Robert Menagh were charged for slamming the whistleblower efforts of Diane Shay, a Glen Stor Dun Lodge worker, after an incident of abuse in May 2008.

But if you google Mr. Menagh, which many smart employers do, as early as 2007 stories appeared about Mr. Menagh regarding his previous employment with the city of Hamilton Ontario.

When Office Romance Sours

Despite a 13-year unblemished career, he left the city with no option. After an external investigation, Menagh was fired for cause without severance. Ironically, his conduct violated the very harassment policies he was charged to uphold. He was insubordinate and abused his power. Unapologetic and undeterred, Menagh responded by suing for wrongful dismissal. An appalled Ontario trial judge upheld the termination.

Menagh’s conduct cost him more than his job. The judge ordered him to pay the city $200,000 for its costs, plus another $23,344 when his appeal was dismissed.

 Menagh v. Hamilton (Cit\), 2007 ONCA 244 (Ont. C.A.)


According to Mr. Menagh earned $105,199 from the city of Cornwall his first year in 2006.   In 2007, his second, the year the story was released he earned $111,386.  In 2008 $118,958 and in 2009 & 2010 over $123K.  It did not report his 2011 income.

Both the fine and the result of the Ontario tribunal will come out of taxpayer dollars.

Tonight council was mum as they left the Benson Centre meeting.   It should be interesting to see if the meeting was about Mr. Menagh and if not what it was about?


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