A reader sent in the following this morning regarding our CAO.
It would crush democratic principles if a CAO has more power than council.
Indeed it would. This weekend we discovered and confirmed that the good CAO got his car stuck out on 2nd Street West. He claims he was turning around in the Kinsmen Soccer field parking lot when his vehicle got stuck.
Why he chose to call Municipal Works instead of any of the fine towing companies here in Cornwall boggles the mind. He’s certainly paid well enough with a near $200K salary to afford a tow. The pay loader sent by the city cost well over $600 to pull “Fitzy” out of the muck including four hours over time for a municipal staffer.
I contacted Mr. Fitzpatrick Sunday and he responded to a few questions via email.
Can you explain why you were near the soccer fields?
dealing with an inquiry; turned into the parking lot to turn around; expected area to be frozen given the cold weather over the previous 48 hours; vehicle sunk in soft snow.
Can you explain why if true as reported that you would need to call for a city payloader to pull you out instead of calling a tow truck?
I contact Municipal Works for assistance; advised tow truck may take a long time to get there; I did not ask for any specific type of equipment, looking for a truck to pull me out.
Mr. Fitzpatrick’s answers and the questions posted above are unedited.
So on the surface we see a simple abuse of the taxpayer from a City Official. A fatal crime? Well that would be up to taxpayers and city council to decide.
Why not call a tow truck; the city has a contract with Metro Towing, and all three tow firms I called said that unless circumstances were unusual a truck would be at that precise location within 15-30 minutes. Surely it would take longer than that to find a city employee after hours to haul out a massive pay loader to the Kinsmen Soccer fields?
The interesting spin to this is who lives right across the street from where Mr. Fitzpatrick’s car was stuck.
Ms Donna Derouchie is the former mucky muck of Glen Stor Dun Lodge, a city run institution. Her tenure ended amongst the storm after the Diane Shay case, and an arbitration case yet to be decided hit the fan. In multiple legal documents it was alleged that Mr. Fitzpatrick and Ms Derouchie had a “relationship”.
There also have been some rumblings and leaks from City Hall about how Ms. Derochie’s settlement was handled. Apparently her name will appear on the Ontario Sunshine list of employees who make more than $100K per year for another year or two even though she’s left her position. And who negotiated that settlement? Was it departed HR manager Robert Menagh or Mr. Fitzpatrick himself?
City Council has been supporting Mr. Fitzpatrick via closed door in camera meetings. Sources at City Hall identify a close cabal including the Mayor that seem to support Mr. Fitzpatrick scandal after scandal.
The question is why? And for how much longer can these councilors allow tax dollars to be abused in this manner? How long can they remain silent? A core issue as seen in the Andre Rivette complaint is that votes held in camera are not recorded. The public simply doesn’t know who is voting for what and council is sworn to secrecy during in camera meetings.
Ms Derouchie has not returned calls for this story and Mr. Fitzpatrick stopped returning emails after the first two yesterday.
What do you think Cornwallites? You can post your comments below.