The municipality of Arran-Elderslie has been ordered to pay out more than $370,000 in damages to a former Chief Building Official after he won a court case relating to his dismissal back in 2009.
Justice Clayton Conlan recently ruled Craig Johnston was wrongfully dismissed and awarded aggravated, punitive and breach of contract damages for the manner Arran-Elderslie fired the former CBO.
Conlan's ruling says Johnston suffered mental distress, including weight loss, sleeping problems, marital breakdown and social isolation, as a result of the harsh dismisal.
The municipality said it dismissed Johnston over a conflict of interest, as he was designing buildings through his business and then completing municipal building inspections on them.
Conlan found Johnston was in a conflict of interest by both designing buildings in the municipality and inspecting his own work. But, Conlan ruled the municipality knew about it and even permitted him to do so with contract clauses requiring Johnston to arrange another inspector.
Johnston filed numerous requests for a back-up inspector, and one was never assigned by the municipality.
Conlan found Arran-Elderslie gave up its ability to dismiss the former CBO for conflict of interest because it ignored Johnston's demands for the appointment of a back-up inspector, while approving him to both design and inspect public buildings.