The City of Nanaimo has reached a settlement with its former chief operations officer, Brad McRae. (News Bulletin file photo)

The City of Nanaimo has reached a settlement with its former chief operations officer, Brad McRae. (News Bulletin file photo)

City of Nanaimo reaches settlement with fired chief operations officer

Brad McRae had launched human rights complaint after being fired while on medical leave

A dispute between the City of Nanaimo and one of its former senior managers has been resolved.

Jake Rudolph, the city’s chief administrative officer, confirmed to the News Bulletin that the municipality has reached a settlement with its former chief operations officer, Brad McRae.

Financial terms regarding the settlement were not disclosed and Rudolph declined to comment further on the matter.

McRae was hired by the city in 2016 and was fired in January 2018 after spending weeks on medical leave.

The ex-COO had launched a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, accusing the city of violating his human rights by holding a termination hearing that he couldn’t attend due to medical reasons and then firing him without cause.

He also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming he was fired because of his “refusal to co-operate in covering up” misuse of corporate credit cards.

Although the city denied allegations made in both the civil claim and human rights complaint, the BCHRT ruled last summer that McRae’s case could move forward to a public hearing.

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McRae’s lawyer Fred Wynne confirmed with the News Bulletin that a settlement has been reached and that his client’s human rights complaint and civil lawsuit will no longer proceed as a result.

“Essentially, we just a reached comprised resolution of a disputed claim and everybody is just moving forward,” he said, adding that he also couldn’t discuss specifics regarding the settlement including financial terms.

McRae’s human rights complaint was filed in March 2018 and his civil claim was launched in September of that year. Wynne said when it comes to tribunal cases across the province, they tend to move slowly.

“A lot of the times the life of these cases is determined by when things can get scheduled,” he said. “Right now, in particular, the tribunal schedule is pretty bad. Judicial resources are really taxed and it is no joke when people are talking about access to justice and delays.”

There were external factors that further delayed McRae’s case, as well, said Wynne.

“This case had a whole bunch of moving parts to it,” he said. “There was an election and all that sort of stuff, so the ground shifted a number of times. That’s why this one took a little bit longer than some.”

Wynne also said that even before he took on McRae’s case, he had heard about what had been happening at Nanaimo city hall and called it an “infamous situation.”

At the end of the day, Wynne said he’s glad the matter has finally been resolved.

“It is just a long time coming and I’m sure everybody is happy to move forward and I hope that the City of Nanaimo doesn’t have to relive any of the legacies of that era,” he said.

McRae is currently the Village of Gold River’s chief administrative officer.

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