Nfld. & Labrador

Dwight Ball asks for investigation into Ed Martin severance

Premier Dwight Ball has asked the auditor general to look into Ed Martin's $1.4-million severance payment, the government announced Sunday afternoon.
Premier Dwight Ball has asked the Auditor General to look into Ed Martin's $1.4-million severance payment, the government announced Sunday afternoon. (CBC)

Premier Dwight Ball has called in Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general to review the controversial severance package paid to former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin.

The government announced on Sunday afternoon that Ball wrote Auditor General Terry Paddon over the weekend to ask him to investigate Martin's severance payment of $1,387,815.75. 

According to a statement, the Department of Justice decided that an independent agency needed to conduct an investigation for a "fulsome determination of the issues" to be provided about the ongoing controversy.

"Based on this opinion and the public interest I have decided to refer this matter to the Auditor General for an independent review," Ball said in the statement.

Controversial departure 

Ed Martin was paid $1.4-million when he left Nalcor energy in April. (CBC)

In April, Ball and Martin held subsequent news conferences announcing that the former Nalcor head had decided to leave voluntarily.

But it was revealed this week that Martin was actually fired by the Nalcor board that evening, who then resigned en-masse from their positions.

The termination triggered Martin's controversial $1.4-million severance package.

Questions about what the premier knew, and when he knew it, have dogged the government over the past week.

The premier continued to say publicly that Martin was leaving voluntarily, even after he was terminated by the Nalcor board.

Both the current Nalcor CEO, Stan Marshall, and the former chair of the board, Ken Marshall, have declined to speak about the matter.

Justice investigation

The premier had asked the provincial Department of Justice to perform a review of the incident.

But on Thursday, Opposition Leader Paul Davis claimed the department was too deeply tangled into the scandal to perform a proper investigation.

He joined the NDP in calling for the premier to tap the auditor general.

The government said in their Sunday statement that "a further update on this matter will be provided once the auditor general has presented his report and findings."