Former Regional Chair remains proud of accomplishments and thanks Ombudsman

CKTB - News - Alan Caslin

Former Regional Chair Alan Caslin remains proud of his accomplishments and is thanking Ontario's Ombudsman for his report into the 2016 CAO hiring scandal. 

The report entitled Inside Job calls the 2016 CAO hiring process "unreasonable, unjust, and wrong.'

Caslin texted the following statement to CKTB  last night. 

"As Regional Chair, I always acted with the best of intentions for the betterment of Niagara.  I was proud to lead a Council that put in place robust internal controls and audit division to enhance accountability and begin to address ongoing practices like contract-splitting that violate the Region's procurement policies.  I am glad that Niagara's Municipal Ombudsman and now the Ontario Ombudsman have found that no corporate policies were broken through the recruitment process.  I thank the Ombudsman for his opinions on the situation and his recommendations to improve procedures at the Region" 

Caslin continued to communicate via text to some follow up questions to his statement where he told CKTB "as head of the Region's CAO hiring commitee in 2016 he responded to the will of the committee members in a fair manner." 

He maintained he did not give former CAO Carmen D'Angelo or any other candidate confidential information about other candidates during the process. 

The Ombudsman's report confirmed that Caslin's Policy Director Rob D'Amboise and his Communications Director Jason Tamming both provided information to D'Angelo that was not given to other candidates or the general public. 

When pressed why his staff would do that he said "I can't speak to other people's actions, especially two years after the fact."

During the CAO hiring process the Ombudsman's report noted that the external hiring firm - The Phelp's Group - became aware of rumours that D'Angelo had been pre-selected for the CAO's job.  

Dube's report says the firm was concerned enough to raise the allegation with Caslin during a phone call with the report noting the firm "described the Chair as “aggressive, defensive” and “initially extremely hostile to the suggestion.” 

The firm’s staff noted that by the end of the phone call, the Chair committed to a fair and open process. 

Caslin told the investigation team from Paul Dube's office that he did not recall this discussion or the allegation.