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A fired CAO turns up on North Bay sunshine list...again!

Robicheau was fired on Dec. 10, 2018 and means that taxpayers were on the hook for two CAOs in 2019
robicheau Keith cao north bay 2016
Former North Bay CAO Keith Robicheau still appears on the Sunshine list after being bounced back in 2018.

The Province's annual "Sunshine List" of all public sector employees who were paid $100,000 or more in 2019 is out and what is sure to be another controversy, fired CAO Keith Robicheau tops the list at City Hall at $209,991.

Also appearing on the list is present CAO David Euler at $192,851. 

See: Robicheau out as City CAO

Robicheau was fired on Dec. 10, 2018, meaning that taxpayers were on the hook for paying two CAOs in 2019.

It's the same situation as when Robicheau replaced Jerry Knox as CAO and Knox stayed on the payroll at $204,000 for two more years as a "Corporate Advisor," a job that did not exist at City Hall. The City later admitted no records exist relating to the initial job advertisement/posting/offering.

At the time, both Mayor Al McDonald and then-CAO Keith Robicheau refused to comment on the mystery, citing privacy and personnel issues.

See: Knox resigned in June, still ranked second on Sunshine List in 2016

And: FOI documents show McDonald heavily involved in Phantom Corporate Advisor payment

And: City ordered to disclose Confidential Employment Agreement for phantom 'Corporate Advisor'

The secrecy surrounding the Knox payments prompted a private citizen, Kevin Ferris to file a request under Freedom of Information "for all records relating to the job description, powers, duties of position of ‘Corporate Advisor’ and/or ‘Corporate Adviser’ including initial job advertisement/posting/offering.” That FOI has still not been finally resolved because of City Hall footdragging.

That rankled taxpayers so much, BayToday readers voted it "Story of the Year."

See: You decided. Phantom CAO lack of transparency controversy is the Story of the Year

As shown by the 2019 Sunshine list, Robicheau's payout was even richer than Knox's.

BayToday reached out to McDonald this afternoon on the Robicheau payout but received no reply. Instead Communications Officer Gord Young emailed, "As I’m sure you can appreciate, the Mayor has been busy dealing with issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. With respect to City of North Bay employees who appear on the Sunshine List, we report to the province in accordance to the regulations set out under the Public Sector Disclosure Act."

The handling of the Knox issue was a contributing factor in North Bay being named in the top five of Canada's most secretive municipalities.

See: North Bay gets 'honourable mention' in Code of Silence awards for government secrecy

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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