City of Nanaimo responds to lawsuit launched by former manager

By Dominic Abassi
April 18, 2018 - 5:48pm

The City denies acting in bad faith when it fired bylaw manager Rod Davidson in 2017.File photo/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — The City of Nanaimo denies it acted in bad faith when it fired a former manager who claims the timing of his dismissal was designed to limit his pension.

In a response to a civil claim launched by former bylaw, regulation and security manager Rod Davidson, the City said "at no time did the defendant engage in any conduct out of malice with the deliberate intention of harming the plaintiff."

The City denied Davidson was wrongfully dismissed or had his contract breached when he was fired without cause or notice in September 2017. The response, filed on April 13 in the Supreme Court of BC, asked the court to dismiss Davidson's claims and award costs to the City.

In his claim filed on March 6, Davidson said the City fired him two-and-a-half months before a milestone which would have increased his monthly pension benefits for the rest of his life. He also claimed during his initial job interview it was discussed he would work in Nanaimo until he turned 60 in order to maximize his pension.

The City fired him nine months before his 60th birthday.

Davidson was paid a little more than $52,000 in severance. The City's response said he appeared before Council on March 5 of this year, one day before his lawsuit was filed, asking Council to give him more severance under a term in his contract. Council denied that request, according to the City's filing.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

A string of spats between councillors, current and former staff contributed to legal expenses for the City running 70 per cent over budget in 2017, as they spent nearly $900,000. The total was significantly higher than the $523,000 spent in 2016.

The City is also currently defending itself against a 2017 lawsuit filed by former roads and traffic services manager Brian Denbigh, who claimed he was fired before he could retire.

Meanwhile, former chief operations officer Brad McRae said he initiated a human rights complaint against the City over his dismissal.

 

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