Ed Martin fired after quitting Nalcor, triggering $1.4M severance, says Dwight Ball

Premier Dwight Ball says that even though ex-Nalcor CEO Ed Martin quit his job, he will still receive a hefty severance package because the company's board of directors fired him without cause.
Dwight Ball says that Ed Martin's severance package was triggered when Martin was fired without cause by Nalcor's Board of Directors. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Premier Dwight Ball says that even though ex-Nalcor CEO Ed Martin quit his job, he will still receive a hefty severance package because the company's board of directors fired him without cause the same day Martin announced he was stepping down. 

The former CEO has come under fire for accepting a $1,387,815.74 severance package in the wake of his resignation.

    Martin initially said on April 20 that he was resigning to spend more time with his family, even though the Liberal government had made no secret that it was not happy with Martin's leadership at Nalcor as well as the Crown corporation's handling of the Muskrat Falls megaproject. 

    That very same day, Ball said, Martin was also fired without cause by Nalcor's board of directors. 

    This triggered severance pay that Martin would not have been entitled to receive if the board had deemed his exit a resignation.

    At the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Ball said that the decision was made independently of his government. 

    Ed Martin collected a severance package of nearly $1.4 million on April 26. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

    "It wasn't until May 5 that we became aware of the extent, the details around the severance package," he said.

    "It was then that we did immediately respond."

    While Ball maintains he did not know the details of severance until May 5, CBC News reported the amount of Martin's severance on May 4. 

    He said the Department of Justice is currently investigating the payout.

    "We've got the Department of Justice right now looking at the appropriateness of the severance package around Mr. Martin," said Ball.

    Ball said he's unable to say for sure whether Nalcor board members committed any wrongdoing in rewarding Martin the severance, but that he agreed with a reporter's suggestion that the board's move was morally iffy. 

    On the evening of April 20, the day that Martin both announced his resignation and was fired by the Nalcor board, the entire Nalcor board also resigned. 

    "I think that if someone steps aside and therefore they quit a job under the contract that's there, I would question the right of anyone getting a severance based on that."

    A representative from Nalcor confirmed that on April 26, the nearly $1.4 million in severance was paid to Ed Martin.