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Sechelt sued in wake of director’s dismissal

Sechelt sued in wake of director’s dismissal

Margi Nicholas, Sechelt’s former Director of Corporate Services, is suing the District, alleging that she was fired without cause, is still owed tens of thousands of dollars in earnings, was bullied in the course of doing her job, and that she was defamed in a recent management review.

Nicholas’ Notice of Civil Claim, filed with the B.C. Supreme Court on Sept. 4, also alleges the District commissioned this year’s Organizational and Management Review with the specific intent, “to find an excuse to terminate” her.

The review, conducted by Vancouver consultants Perivale and Taylor, recommended that Nicholas’ position of Director of Corporate Services be eliminated, along with the positions of Human Resources Advisor and Superintendent of Public Works.

Perivale and Taylor’s report was made public Aug. 24 and can be viewed via links from the District’s website.

Nicholas alleged in the lawsuit that she approached Mayor Bruce Milne in February 2015 about his “bullying” behaviour towards her, but that her concerns were not addressed. She further alleges that it was later suggested by another unnamed District representative that she resign, and that she refused. “Shortly thereafter, the District commissioned the report” that resulted in the elimination of her job in July, she claims.

Nicholas also alleges that after reading a draft of the Organizational and Management Review report, she informed the District that, “it contained inaccuracies and that publication would be damaging to her reputation.” She claims those concerns were ignored and that part of the reason she has not been able to find new employment is because of the report’s defamatory inaccuracies.

Nicholas is asking in the lawsuit that the court award her the earnings she said she is still owed, plus “aggravated and punitive damages for the manner of dismissal,” and damages for defamation.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The District has until September 25 to file an initial defence to the lawsuit’s claims.

Rik Jespersen

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