Niagara's CAO legal case could last years: Employment Lawyer

One of Canada's best known employment lawyers says the CAO legal case in Niagara could last three or four years.

Former CAO Carmen D'Angelo is suing Niagara for more than $1.15 million for multiple reasons including wrongful dismissal and 'intentional infliction of mental suffering' following his resignation.

Lawyer Howard Levitt says the question is was D'Angelo constructively dismissed and did the Niagara Region act inappropriately to cause his resignation?

He says if that's the case then D'Angelo may have a case, but it seems like 'a real crapshoot at best'.

The statement from D'Angelo's lawyers says he is seeking 3 years worth of wages after a contact extension arranged with former regional chair Alan Caslin was declared void by the new council.

Lawyers allege the Region's recent treatment of D'Angelo was 'outrageous' and calculated to make his life 'miserable.'

The legal team accuses Regional members of leaking confidential information to the media, calling those alleged members 'reckless' for allowing intrusions into his personal affairs.

Levitt says he has never seen a contract which gives a person three years pay even if they are fired with cause, and if D'Angelo was involved in the contract negotiation then Niagara should move to set it aside and that would be cause to fire him.

D'Angelo has told CKTB he went to former Chair Al Caslin to extend the contract, and Caslin admits he didn't seek council's advice or approval on it.

Levitt thinks the legal case may continue for years.

An Ombudsman's investigation is currently probing the hiring process that awarded D'Angelo the prestigious position in the first place.

Levitt is the host of the Employment Law Hour on CKTB. It airs Sunday's at 1pm.