Nfld. & Labrador

Spaniard's Bay town manager resigns as town deals with harassment scandal fallout

The upheaval is continuing in Spaniard's Bay, with longtime town manager Tony Ryan announcing Monday that he is leaving the post.

Tony Ryan was town's administrative leader for more than a dozen years

Tony Ryan (right) has resigned as the town manager in Spaniard's Bay. He is pictured here with Mayor Tony Menchions. (Meghan McCabe/CBC)

The upheaval is continuing in Spaniard's Bay, with longtime town manager Tony Ryan revealing that he is leaving the post. 

CBC News has learned that Ryan's resignation is effective immediately, and came without any prior notice.

In his resignation letter, Ryan said ongoing bickering and the controversy over the town's fire department are the reasons for his departure.

"These too have been quite stressful on me and have had an adverse effect on both my work and personal life/wellbeing," he wrote.

"I no longer feel that I can give this position the dedication and commitment it deserves to be productive."

It's the latest in a series of controversies that has crippled the small Conception Bay town in recent weeks.

Municipal leaders and other government officials have been scrambling to rebuild the fire department after it collapsed on Jan. 19 amid allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment leveled by Brenda Seymour, the lone female firefighter.

Twenty members quit, along with town councillor Sheri Collins.

Late last week, council selected former assistant chief Kurt Roberts as the new chief, replacing former chief Victor Hiscock.

The next step is filling out the remaining ranks, with the application process ongoing.

Ryan could not be reached for comment Monday morning, but he expressed confidence in his letter that the worst is over for the town.

"I firmly believe that council is on the right track in facing our challenges and will help out with any administrative tasks necessary to ensure a smooth transition period."

It's the second municipality in Conception Bay North to lose the services of a town manager in recent days.

Former Harbour Grace town manager Lisa Carroll resigned suddenly in January, and is now facing charges of theft. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terry Roberts is a journalist with CBC's bureau in St. John's.

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