Nfld. & Labrador

Mount Pearl selects Dana Spurrell as new top civil servant

Mount Pearl city council has chosen a new chief administrative officer, seven months after the acrimonious departure of her predecessor and the dismissal of two councillors following longtime internal drama at city hall.

Appointment comes 7 months after tumultuous departure of predecessor Steve Kent

Mount Pearl city council has hired a new chief administrative officer. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Mount Pearl city council has chosen a new chief administrative officer, seven months after the acrimonious departure of her predecessor and the dismissal of two councillors following longtime internal drama at city hall.

Dana Spurrell will take the reins of the city on Feb. 10.

According to a press release from the city Tuesday afternoon, she has 25 years of public service experience and most recently served as assistant deputy minister of immigration, workforce development and labour with the provincial government.

Council formalized her appointment to the job of CAO in a unanimous vote Tuesday evening.

"With an extensive portfolio of experience, and strong background in people management and labour relations, she brings an empowered leadership approach based on mutual respect that makes us confident that she will lead our staff and city forward, into the future," Mayor Dave Aker said in the statement.

Spurrell said she is excited to lead the organization.

"I look forward to working with council, and most importantly the staff in Mount Pearl, as we focus on the city's future," Spurrell said in the press release.

Steve Kent departed post last summer

Her predecessor, Steve Kent, was suspended from the top civil service job in Mount Pearl in October 2019, after council called in an outside investigator to probe his workplace interactions with city staff.

He remained on leave until June, when he departed the post before council could vote to fire him, then sued for wrongful dismissal and breach of privacy.

A few days later, Mount Pearl city council voted to dismiss two councillors, Andrea Power and Andrew Ledwell, over allegations they had a conflict of interest they failed to declare in the harassment investigation involving Kent.

The deputy mayor accused them of "colluding" with Kent to find ways to influence other councillors. 

The dismissed duo have maintained their innocence, and have also filed legal action.

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