Newfoundland and Labrador’s premier says he has ordered a review of transfers of executive-level staff as one of his cabinet ministers faces criticism over the appointment of a former Liberal staffer to a lucrative public service job.
A report released Monday found Christopher Mitchelmore “grossly mismanaged” his code of conduct obligations when he directed Carla Foote’s hiring to a marketing job at Crown corporation The Rooms, a gallery and archive in St. John’s.
The Office of the Citizens’ Representative, a provincial ombudsman service, says Mitchelmore mismanaged public funds by dictating Carla Foote’s hiring and directing the job’s salary increase to $132,000.
Dwight Ball defended Mitchelmore Tuesday, saying Foote’s hiring was a move between executive positions, but the report concludes the positions were not equivalent and the job was reclassified to an executive level to accommodate Foote’s hiring.
The report says Foote’s hiring was not in accordance with the Public Service Commission Act and recommended corrective action against Mitchelmore.
Witnesses told investigators they felt compelled to accept Foote’s appointment because Mitchelmore directed it and because they were informed the premier had already offered Foote the position, a claim Ball denies.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019.