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Ombudsman Closes File on Tainted 2016 Hiring of Niagara Region CAO

Ontario Ombudsman is closing the file on the process that led to the hiring of Carmen D'Angelo as CAO.

The Ombudsman's office is closing the file on the tainted 2016 hiring of Niagara's CAO. 

In a letter to Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Ontario Ombudsman J. Paul Dubé confirmed the news, thanking the Region for its cooperation. 

Dube says Regional Council has implemented all 16 of the recommendations listed in his 2019 "Inside Job" report.

According to the report, the hiring of former CAO Carmen D'Angelo was "compromised" by confidential information from insiders within the office of former Regional Chair Al Caslin. 

The report responded to over 110 formal complaints residents registered with the Ontario Ombudsman's office. 

The complainants demanded the Ombudsman look into several issues, including how the hiring process was executed. 

Dubé also made several recommendations to Regional Council to help avoid similar issues in the future. 

The suggestions include implementing a formal code of ethics, and creating policies that ensure candidates are not given an unfair advantage in the hiring process. 

"While the 2016 CAO hiring process, and the resulting fallout, will long be remembered as stain on the Region’s reputation, this term of council made it a top priority to take immediate action on this matter. As a team, we implemented all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, ensuring we took every step necessary to prevent this type of controversy from occurring again. I want to thank Mr. Dubé, and his staff, for the exceptional report and recommendations, as well as their commitment to work with us as we implemented policies to make the Region more open, fair and transparent. The residents of Niagara deserved better, and these new policies and practices will help make sure we are living up to our constituents’ appropriately high expectations."" ~ Regional Chair Jim Bradley

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