A lawsuit against the City of Abbotsford from a former manager alleges he was wrongfully dismissed as part of a concerted effort to remove the city’s senior employees.
Jay Teichroeb left his position as general manager of economic development in June. A notice of civil claim was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna on June 27, listing Teichroeb as a plaintiff in a wrongful dismissal claim against the city.
The claim states that the city manager – George Murray – notified Teichroeb in writing around June 17 that he would be fired with cause for an alleged “breach of fidelity.”
The city claimed that Teichroeb had authorized a property developer to start construction without a building permit.
The documents state that Teichroeb denied the allegation, and in response, the city alleged he was being dishonest about the incident.
While denying that Teichroeb provided the authorization for the construction, the suit states that even if the allegation was true, it is not just cause for termination.
The suit maintains that the city could have, by reasonable investigation, determined the allegation was false, but that the city failed to properly and fairly investigate the claim against him.
The suit states that alleging Teichroeb was dishonest is “false and unjustified” and an attack on his reputation.
The statement of claim also describes the city’s actions as “harsh, vindictive, reprehensible and malicious.”
The suit claims that Teichroeb’s dismissal was not based on the city’s honest belief in the allegations, but rather “was part of an improper course of conduct designed to dismiss the senior employees of the (City of Abbotsford).” The claim states that the city misrepresented its reasons for his dismissal, and was “fabricated by the (City of Abbotsford) for an ulterior purpose.”
In addition to Teichroeb, general manager of finance Pat Soanes left city hall in June. In July, manager of bylaw enforcement Gordon Ferguson left his position.
Documents obtained by the Abbotsford News through Freedom of Information requests revealed that Soanes received $88,550 as a settlement agreement, while Ferguson did not receive any compensation following his departure.
Teichroeb had worked at city hall for over 12 years – acting as general manager of economic development since 2009 –and will be seeking compensation for his losses.
The allegations have not been proven in court and online court records show the city has not yet filed a response.
The News contacted Murray, who said he is unable to comment on personnel matters or issues that are before the courts.
Teichroeb is now working for the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.