Calgary mayor’s former chief of staff paid $100K after dismissal

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s former chief of staff, Stephen Carter, was paid approximately $100,000 in severance when he was dismissed in February. 

Carter confirmed the severance figure.

He was hired in October after helping Gondek win the election but was dismissed less than four months later

“I did not ask to be fired, nor was any reason provided,” Carter said in a statement. “In our employment system, when an employee is dismissed without cause, a severance payment is made to ensure no litigation ensues.”

At least three city councillors and a manager with the City of Calgary had filed complaints about Carter’s behaviour for violating the city’s respectful workplace policy.

An external firm was hired by the city to investigate the complaints. 

Coun. Sonya Sharp told CBC News she was informed her complaint about being bullied by Carter was found to be valid by the investigator.

A city official had told CBC News in February that Carter would not be paid a severance. 

However, Carter said on Wednesday he thinks he was paid severance so he wouldn’t talk about his dismissal.

“My severance, in my opinion, was granted for two reasons: to ensure I was not vocal about the unjust nature of my dismissal and to avoid embarrassing litigation,” he said.

“Having said that, the severance was not conditional on forgoing litigation. If [aspersions] about me and my character continue, I may be pushed towards action in the courts.”

CBC News asked the mayor’s office for a comment on the severance.

A spokesperson said the matter is a personnel issue and the mayor will not be commenting on it. 

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