Whistleblowing Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley of Cornwall Ontario Forced Into Early Retirement by City of Cornwall

Whistleblowing Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley of Cornwall Ontario Forced Into Early Retirement by City of Cornwall

rob hickley interviewCornwall Ontario –  Long time Deputy Fire Chief Rob Hickley issued a statement including his letter of retirement today.

CFN is printing both unedited.

You have asked for my comments about the fact that I had to retire on October 9, 2013.


I have been on short term sick leave. My health has deteriorated and after consultation

with my Doctor in August, he recommended that I not return to work until my health



As my short term sick leave was expiring, my doctor completed an

application for long term disability (LTD) for me. The City’s LTD provider has denied

the application for LTD but noted that it does not have sufficient medical evidence.

I am providing that additional medical evidence and have until December to file an



I am engaged in litigation over the Whistleblower Policy, under the control of Council,

and my employment was supposed have been protected. My lawyer asked for paid

leave of absence, or Administrative Leave, on October 2, 2013 to the lawyer for City

Council. To date there has been no response.


As my short term benefits and all income were ending. I asked for a meeting with the

CAO Mr. Levac.


On October 8th, I asked Mr. Levac to consider various options.


I asked for an extension of my sick leave while my LTD application is under appeal, but that was denied.


I asked for Administrative Leave, the same as Mr. Fitzpatrick was given in 2012, but

now I am told “there are no provisions for Administrative Leave”. I was told by Mr. Levac

that he would not take my request for Administrative Leave to Council.


I asked that a voluntary payment be made to OMERS to bridge to my earliest retirement

date, which is seven months away. That was also denied.


I was given the option of returning to work immediately or retire. Returning to work is not

recommended by my physician, as noted above and the circumstances of the litigation

would be problematic in the workplace.


Although the seven month deficit will have a significant negative impact on my pension for the rest of my life, I still require an income.


I really had no choice except to retire.


To my knowledge, Council was not asked to decide its answers to my request for Administrative Leave.


My retirement letter is attached.

And her is Mr. Hickley’s letter unedited.


October 9, 2013


Mr. Norm Levac

Chief Administrative Officer

City of Cornwall


Mr. Levac


Reluctantly and with regret, I am forced at this time, to retire from my employment as Deputy Fire Chief with the Cornwall Fire Service. My retirement shall be effective as of Wednesday, October 09, 2013.


In light of previous administrative leave provisions given to other members of management, I am very offended, that I, who have done nothing wrong and have been an exemplary employee, have been given so little consideration and support.

John Robert Hickley


cc. Members of Council

     Fay Brunning


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