Mayor Eddie Francis looks forward to the City of Windsor's day in court.
Alleging wrongful dismissal, fired auditor general Todd Langlois is suing the city for $2.4 million.
'That's the beauty about the courts. It's about the law and it's about the facts.' — Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis
"The City of Windsor is looking forward to the opportunity to get in front of a judge, in the court, where the facts will be tried ... where the real issues will be dealt with. We’re very comfortable in our position," Francis said Thursday, a day after Langlois filed suit. "This was going to be an attempt to throw anything and everything at the city ... and hope that something sticks."
Langlois alleges the mayor, the city's chief administrative officer and chairmen of the audit committee "blocked" him from doing his job.
Langlois was fired after nine months on the job. Francis said the city did nothing wrong and adhered to the terms of the agreement, including the former auditor general's termination.
"We [had] an employer/employee agreement that came to an end. We had an agreement as to what happens when it comes to an end," Francis said.
The mayor said the lawsuit "is about the money" and that Langlois has been "trying his case in the court of public opinion."
"That's the beauty about the court. It’s about the law and it's about the facts. Everything else is irrelevant," Francis said.
Claims cost city millions last year
The lawsuit certainly isn't the first against the city.
Shelby Askin Hager, the city's manager of purchasing and risk management, said the city has approximately 500 claims initiated against them each year.
"We get damage claims or the [beginnings] of a lawsuit every day," she said. "Those don’t all become lawsuit."
Askin Hager said the city carries a $1.9-million insurance portfolio and that the city paid out $2.2 million, above and beyond its deductible, last year. That exceeded the budget by $600,000.
"Cities are targeted because of joint and several liability," Askin Hager said.
That means when there are several defendants, the one with the most money usually ends up paying.