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New CAO canned from old job after audit

13/03/26 — Last September when Ron Tripp was passed over for the job of chief administrative officer the first time, the CAO, deputy CAO and human resources manager in the County of Huron left their jobs in the wake of an operations review.

Monday night, council voted 4-3 to hire the former CAO of Huron County, Larry Adams, to assume the position in Fort Erie.

According to the London Free Press, Adams is among three top County managers who were on “non-disciplinary leave” for months when their departures were made official in September with no disclosure of the reasons.

The county clerk resigned abruptly in that period too, citing personal reasons.

They were slammed in an operations review conducted by George B. Cuff, who described the County organization as marked with infighting, mutual disrespect and jockeying for control, the Free Press reported.

The announcement of their departures came one day after a financial audit of travel expenses for County vehicles which were supplied as part of their compensation packages, the newspaper reported.

Adams has been the interim treasurer of the Town of St. Marys since January.

Councillors Rick Shular and Stephen Passero along with Mayor Doug Martin refused to give their endorsements of the bylaw that made Adams’ employment official.

“What has transpired here just is not right,” said Shular. “The whole process, the way it played out, is totally unjust.”

Councillor Bob Steckley said he was “shocked” by the lack of consensus, “especially in light of comments we had in closed session . . . led me to believe that we’d be looking at a unanimous vote tonight.”

Councillor Don Lubberts also disclosed some information from the closed sessions. “None of the councillors were not in favour of this gentleman being hired. They never brought anything forward about the guy wasn’t qualified or he wasn’t going to be a good CAO.”

Martin echoed Shular and Passero and said he would commit to working with Adams, “but I can’t support the process that was railroaded.”

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