Deepak Joshi suspended as City of Winnipeg's acting CAO
Mayor Brian Bowman says he has 'lost confidence' in Joshi as chief administrative officer
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman has suspended Deepak Joshi as the city's acting chief administrative officer, saying he has "lost confidence" in Joshi's ability to serve in that role.
In a letter to councillors and the city's public service sent Friday afternoon, Bowman wrote, "Pursuant to my authority as Mayor, under The City of Winnipeg Charter Act, effective immediately, Mr. Deepak Joshi has been suspended from his duties as the City of Winnipeg's Acting Chief Administrative Officer."
"I'm not going to get into specifics on HR matters, but suffice to say that I've lost confidence in having him serve in the role and had to make a very difficult decision today and exercise my authority under the act accordingly," he told reporters at city hall.
Acting chief operating officer Michael Jack will take over as acting CAO until council's executive policy committee considers its next steps.
Bowman said under the City of Winnipeg Charter, the mayor has the authority to suspend the CAO for up to three working days.
"During that time, EPC can make some decisions including extending that suspension for an additional 30 days," Bowman said.
"But we're not there yet — this has just happened today, the decision's been made, and we'll have more to say next week."
Joshi, who was previously the city's chief operating officer, was appointed acting CAO following the departure of Phil Sheegl in October 2013.
A damning report, released days after Sheegl left, implicated him in what it called a poorly managed fire hall land swap deal that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Sheegl was also mentioned in an external review of cost overruns related to work on the Winnipeg Police Service's new headquarters.
- Audit finds ‘gaps’ in way City of Winnipeg handled police HQ
- Police HQ cost overruns final straw forcing Sheegl out
At the time of Joshi's appointment, major concerns about having him as temporary CAO were raised by several councillors who argued that Joshi had been also implicated in the handling of the land deal.