Legal battle continues between Town of Coaldale and former employee

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A legal dispute continues between the Town of Coaldale and a former employee, who was recently issued a cease-and-desist order by the town's lawyer. Quinn Campbell explains – Jan 21, 2021

Kris Mikado worked for the Town of Coaldale for nearly 10 years. He is one of a dozen former employees alleging bullying and intimidation by town management

“There are many friends and past co-workers that I have seen have to leave an organization that they all wanted to retire in, at no fault of their own., So I just don’t want this to keep happening to other people,” said Mikado.

The town conducted an external HR Culture Audit Report that determined the workplace is not toxic.

A statement on the town’s website reads in part: “In fact, the most significant risk to morale that the report identified was the impact of the misrepresentation of the working conditions in social media.”

Read more: ‘Concerned’ Coaldale citizens group petitions province for municipal investigation

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The report included former employees who worked for the town within the last five years, but Mikado feels their concerns were not fairly represented in the report.

“In my opinion, they didn’t try very hard to get to the bottom of this,” Mikado said. “So I just think that, overall, the town’s response is basically exactly why we need a municipal inspection.”

He said the town has continued its threats and intimidation towards him by issuing a cease-and-desist letter that states he must not say anything negative about the town or its employees, or he will be responsible for all legal fees.

The letter prompted him to obtain his own lawyer, Douglas Carle, who responded to the order, calling it outlandish.

The response in part: “My client will disregard the threats contained in your letter in its entirety and will continue to speak out truthfully and forcefully to any and all areas of concern as it involves your client, as is the responsibility and obligation of every citizen in democracy.”

Mikado is part of the Citizens for a Better Coaldale group that has asked the province to conduct a municipal inspection, citing several concerns.

However, the town said it remains firm there is no grounds to proceed with a municipal inspection.

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The Department of Municipal Affairs confirmed they have received the petition for the inspection, but will not say whether one will be conducted.

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