Calgary mayor’s former chief of staff paid $100,000 after he was fired

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s former chief of staff Stephen Carter received a severance package of around $100,000 when he was fired in February.

Carter confirmed the severance pay figure.

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

“I did not ask to be terminated, and no reason was provided,” Carter said in a statement. “In our employment system, when an employee is terminated without cause, a severance package is paid to avoid litigation.”

At least three city councilors and a Calgary city manager had filed complaints about Carter’s behavior for violating the city’s respectful workplace policy.

An outside firm has been hired by the city to investigate the complaints.

Com. Sonya Sharp told CBC News she was told her complaint about Carter’s bullying was found to be founded by the investigator.

A city official told CBC News in February that Carter would not receive severance pay.

However, Carter said on Wednesday that he believed he received severance pay so he wouldn’t talk about his firing.

“My severance package, in my opinion, was granted for two reasons: to ensure that I did not speak out on the unfair nature of my dismissal and to avoid embarrassing litigation,” he said.

“That said, the separation was not conditional on the litigation being dropped. If [aspersions] about me and my character continue, I could be pushed to act in court.”

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

A spokesperson said it was a staffing issue and the mayor would not comment on it.