News

Legal fees in wrongful dismissal suit against City cited at $10,000

Jay Teichroeb - File photo
Jay Teichroeb
— image credit: File photo

The City of Abbotsford says it spent about $10,000 in legal fees – in addition to a nearly $100,000 settlement – following a wrongful dismissal suit levelled by a former senior manager.

A city's legal fees associated with the suit filed by former general manager of economic development Jay Teichroeb, were requested by The News under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOI).

On Dec. 24, the city supplied a letter from their lawyers containing the legal fees, but had redacted the information.

After requesting again that the city release the legal costs, they provided a total of $10,512 for legal fees associated with the suit.

The settlement costs were released following a previous FOI request by The News. The information released by the city stated that Teichroeb would receive $95,000 – less 30 per cent deduction for the Canadian Revenue Agency – for settlement.

Teichroeb agreed to discontinue the lawsuit he brought against the city.

Teichroeb left his position as general manager of economic development in June, and later that month, a notice of civil claim was filed in the B.C. Supreme Court, alleging that Teichroeb was wrongfully dismissed as part of an effort to remove the city's senior employees.

The claim outlined that Teichroeb had been notified by the city manager, George Murray, in June, that he would be fired with cause for an alleged "breach of fidelity" – claiming that Teichroeb had authorized a property developer to start construction without a building permit.

Teichroeb's suit claimed the dismissal was not due to that claim but was "part of an improper course of conduct designed to dismiss the senior employees of the (City of Abbotsford)."

Teichroeb left the city around the same time as finance manager Pat Soanes and manager of bylaw enforcement Gordon Ferguson.

Other documents obtained through FOI requests revealed that Soanes received $101,187.29 upon leaving the city, with $88,550.56 of the total as a settlement. Ferguson received $28,102.54 and of that amount, $15,954.40 was listed under wages in lieu of notice.

Aside from disclosing the amount of the payout, Teichroeb's settlement prevents him and the city from making further comment.

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