Winnipeg city Coun. Ross Eadie is calling for the firing of chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl, following the controversial dismissal of the fire chief.
Fire Paramedic Chief Reid Douglas was terminated this week, but the city has remained mum about the reason for him being terminated.
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Douglas’ firing came shortly before the anticipated release of an audit report on a controversial land swap deal.
Last November, city council killed a deal to have land developer Shindico exchange land on Taylor Avenue for three other city properties.
The swap was arranged by Douglas and would see land on Taylor Avenue swapped for two surplus fire stations and a parcel of land on Mulvey Avenue.
City council said they were never informed about the deal and when news it had been made surfaced, a the deal was killed and an audit ordered. By that time, construction had already began on a new station on the Taylor property, even though Shindico still technically owned the land.
The city is now working to complete a deal to purchase the Taylor Avenue land.
City councillors have been questioning the timing of Douglas’s firing.
Now, Eadie has announced plans to introduce a formal motion next month to have Sheegl fired as well.
Eadie said a number of controversies surrounding Sheegl have lead to a lack of trust in the CAO.
“If you can’t trust the administration from the political side, how do you govern? You can’t. It’s dysfunctional and so that’s what I’m getting at,” said Eadie.
Eadie pointed to Sheegl’s role in Douglas’ dismissal and his past business dealings with Mayor Sam Katz. In 2012, Katz bought an Arizona-based business from Sheegl for $1.
A motion to have Sheegl fired has been contemplated before, according to Eadie. He said last year, Coun. Russ Wyatt floated the idea of asking for Sheegl’s resignation, but he decided not to move forward with it.
The formal motion will be introduced next month by Eadie. Since Sheegl was hired by an act of council, he could be removed by an act of council.