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Cost to fire lawyer: $242,000 and counting

13/02/23 — The cost to fire the Town solicitor last year is coming into focus.

Although the four councillors who voted to gas Heather Salter also voted (4-3) to keep the terms of her settlement secret, the facts are coming to light.

Salter’s salary in 2011, her last full year, was $132,516.17. She was inexplicably terminated last April.

If it was a righteous dismissal, the Town should have saved three-quarters of that in 2012 which comes out to just less than $100,000.

The budget for the legal and legislative services department, of which she was director, should show that saving in the 2012 expenditures.

Indeed, it does not. In fact, the budget for that department shows expenditures for wages were $109,403 over budget — a 15 per cent variance. It was a variance that councillors did not question.

Taxpayers also footed an unbudgeted $33,000 expenditure for “human resource” matters.

There are other expenses hidden in the budget for additional legal fees because many tasks are now farmed out to another lawyer, but those have not been itemized.

All we can say for sure is the tab so far is $242,000.

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