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City postpones CAO hiring process until after civic election

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CAO Phil Sheegl (right) formally resigned, and fire-paramedic chief Reid Douglas (left) was fired, shortly before a forensic audit of the fire hall replacement program was released.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

CAO Phil Sheegl (right) formally resigned, and fire-paramedic chief Reid Douglas (left) was fired, shortly before a forensic audit of the fire hall replacement program was released. Photo Store

The October civic election is being given as the reason for postponing the hiring of a new chief administrative officer for the City of Winnipeg.

A spokeswoman for the city’s hiring committee said it recently decided to postpone the recruitment process until after the Oct. 22 election.

Winnipeg has been without a permanent CAO since Phil Sheegl resigned Oct. 17, 2013 amid a flurry of controversies.

Chief operating officer Deepak Joshi was appointed acting CAO, on condition that he not apply for the permanent position.

The spokeswoman said the committee believed "the time constraints of delivering a suitable candidate prior to the election," warranted postponing the process.

The announcement comes as a surprise to city hall observers because Mayor Sam Katz told council Wednesday that the hiring committee had received over 80 applicants for the vacant position and that it expected to whittle down to a short list in a coming weeks.

Now, the whole process has been put on hold for an election that is still six months away.

Sheegl formally resigned days before a forensic audit of the fire hall replacement program would lay much of the blame on Katz’s boyhood friend.

The official explanation was that Sheegl resigned after several EPC members gave Katz a letter demanding Sheegl be terminated. Rather than all the problems linked to the fire hall replacement program, it was the escalating costs associated with the new police headquarters that supposedly prompted the EPC members to act.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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