John Lynn, the CEO of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, seriously breached the corporation's code of conduct when he hired four Conservative-affiliated people without competition or proof of merit, according to Canada's public sector integrity commissioner.

Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner sent CBC Nova Scotia a copy of Mario Dion's report on Monday.

In the report, Lynn is rebuked for using his position to hire four employees because of their political ties.

  • Ken Langley is a defeated Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative candidate and served as chief of staff to former premier John Buchanan.
  • Robert MacLean is a former executive assistant to Cecil Clarke when he was a Progressive Conservative MP.
  • Allan Murphy is a defeated federal Conservative candidate and was chief of staff to cabinet minister Peter MacKay.
  • Nancy Baker has worked for MacKay before and after her term at ECBC. She is now a policy adviser in MacKay's office at Justice Canada. 

The report says that despite the breach of the corporation's own employment conduct and discipline policy, John Lynn's actions do not amount to gross mismanagement since ECBC was able to carry out its mandate.

Dion did note that his actions could "create a perception of patronage within the federal public sector."

"The creation of such perception is not in the public interest and weakens the legitimacy of the public sector," he wrote. 

Other allegations related to the management of the Ben Eoin Marina were determined to be unfounded, either by an examination of the paperwork, or because the commissioner does not have the authority to compel certain evidence.

ECBC has been under fire for its plan to demolish the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club building on the Sydney waterfront while spending $4 million to build a new marina located about 20 kilometres from Sydney.

Lynn has denied any wrongdoing.

He's been been on administrative leave, with pay, since last June.

Cuzner, one of the people who asked for the investigation, is now calling on the minister responsible for ECBC to deal with Lynn before the Crown corporation is officially dissolved.

"The only person who qualifies for any severance package whatsoever when ECBC is devolved is the CEO, is John Lynn, and it states that in the legislation. So if this goes forward, if [Bill] C-31 goes forward without the minister taking the appropriate action then he just rolls right into a severance package and a golden handshake to that effect." he said. 

The Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency oversees ECBC, which is a Crown corporation.

Dion officially tables his report on Tuesday.