NB Liquor offering ex-CEO special pension
The former chief executive officer of NB Liquor was given a special pension package by the former Liberal government, CBC News has confirmed.
NB Liquor acknowledged the pension in a letter on Tuesday even as the Crown corporation still refuses to disclose documents under the Right to Information Act.
Dana Clendenning, who was a political adviser to former Liberal premier Shawn Graham, was appointed as NB Liquor's president and CEO in 2006 after the Liberals came to power.
Four years later, Clendenning left the high-profile position after the Liberals were defeated in the 2010 election by the Progressive Conservatives.
Clendenning is now receiving a deputy minister-level pension, despite not having the five years required to qualify.
In a letter to CBC News, Daniel Allain, the CEO of NB Liquor who was appointed to the position after serving as a political advisor to Premier David Alward, said the liquor corporation is paying $14,000 annually toward the pension.
"In the interest of openness and transparency, we can advise that ANBL incurs a monthly charge effective November 2010 in the amount of $1,168.07," Allain's letter says.
"This amount is comprised of two components — the monthly pension amount and the waiver on the reduction factor given Mr. Clendenning was not 60 years of age at his retirement date."
It's possible Clendenning is getting even more than what was outlined by NB Liquor if the rest of the money is coming directly from the provincial government.
The letter also reveals Clendenning's pension is the equivalent of that earned by someone who retires at age 60, even though he hasn't reached that age.
Clendenning's NB Liquor position was considered a deputy minister-level job, with an annual salary of $150,000.
Although there are some rule differences between deputy ministers and Crown corporation heads, Clendenning's position was governed by the same pension eligibility rules as deputy ministers, which state that someone must be on the job for at least five years to get a pension. Clendenning only served four.
The pension is on top of a one-time severance payment given to Clendenning at the final Liberal cabinet meeting last fall.
Each of the deputy ministers who were asked to leave when the Alward government was sworn into office received similar severance packages, just as deputy ministers with PC party connections earned payments in 2003.
The exact amount given to Clendenning may be revealed in government accounts in the coming year.