Nfld. & Labrador

'Important piece of work': Ball explains AG review of Martin severance

Premier Dwight Ball said Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general is best-suited to investigate the $1.4 million severance paid to former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin, and that's why the independent investigation has been called.
Dwight Ball and Ed Martin both held press conferences on April 20 that did not address Martin's $1.4 million severance package. (CBC)

Premier Dwight Ball said Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general is best-suited to investigate the $1.4 million severance paid to former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin, and that's why the independent investigation has been called. 

Ball told reporters Monday morning the decision to call in Auditor General Terry Paddon on Sunday afternoon came as the Department of Justice concluded its review of the severance payment and deemed an independent review was needed. 

"It's all working days," said Ball. 

The premier said the justice department's report will be sent to Paddon, but did not say whether it will be made public. 

"This is an important piece of work he's going to be doing," said Ball, and it's "not unusual" to bring in the auditor general for something like this. 

Martin voluntarily stepped down as head of Nalcor on April 20, a decision he announced with the premier. Later that evening, Martin was fired without cause by the Board of Directors, who then resigned en-masse. 

He received $1,387,815.75 in severance, money that would not have been paid out under his contract had he quit. 

Ball said the auditor general's investigation will take as much time as needed, and said his office would co-operate.

The issue has received a great deal of attention, with the premier being questioned on just what he knew and when he knew it. 

At the time the severance was paid, Ball said it was part of Martin's contract and there was nothing the government could do to change it. 

The NDP and PCs have been calling for an independent review of the severance by the auditor general.

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