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CAO’s severance package being negotiated

Former Westlock County chief administrative officer Edward LeBlanc will be receiving a severance after his employment with the municipality ended last month. However, how much that severance remains unknown.

Former Westlock County chief administrative officer Edward LeBlanc will be receiving a severance after his employment with the municipality ended last month.

However, how much that severance remains unknown.

“It’s a negotiated severance,” said interim CAO Rick McDonald.

“It’s not, ‘Well, you’re terminated and here’s your severance.’ Both parties sat down and thought going in a new direction was in the positives of both parties and so they said, ‘Let’s come to some arrangement.’”

He added it’s appropriate LeBlanc receive a severance because of the fact he spent nearly 29 years as a county employee.

“You’ve got to respect that,” he said.

McDonald said because the severance is being negotiated, he had no insight into when the settlement would be reached, or provide a ballpark figure as to the amount of the severance.

He said considering LeBlanc’s departure was a mutual agreement and not a case of LeBlanc being fired or quitting, the two sides would need to agree on a dollar figure, which could typically be approximately one year’s salary.

However, he stressed he has no evidence of that being the case in this circumstance.

Regardless of the final figure, McDonald said he believes the severance should be made public and he plans to convince councillors to make that information public, even though he is confident they will release it.

“When they get the dollar figure, I’m sure they’ll make it public,” he said. “I don’t think they want to hide it, it’s just a matter of because you’re in personnel matters, they’re private matters and they don’t want to talk about what could be or should be. They’ll talk about what happened when it’s done.”

McDonald added he’ll be kept informed of the settlement because it’s integral to his job.

“I’ll have to know too because I’ll have to make arrangements for whatever payments are necessary,” he said.