Petro­lia CAO re­signs after probe

Manny Baron was re­cently the sub­ject of con­flict of in­ter­est al­le­ga­tions

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - OB­SERVER STAFF

Petro­lia CAO Manny Baron has re­signed, town coun­cil an­nounced Tues­day.

In a news re­lease, of­fi­cials said the town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer and clerk was no longer in Petro­lia’s em­ploy, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

Mayor John McCharles said he would not comment on the cir­cum­stances lead­ing to Baron’s res­ig­na­tion.

“The coun­cil is grate­ful to Mr. Baron for his as­sis­tance in en­abling the town to en­hance Main Street, build a new waste­water treat­ment plant and es­tab­lish the Cen­tral Lambton Fam­ily Health Team,” McCharles said.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate his con­tri­bu­tions to the town in this re­gard and wish him well.”

Baron, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer since July 2012, was re­cently the sub­ject of con­flict of in­ter­est al­le­ga­tions after The In­de­pen­dent re­ported he’d been charg­ing the town rent, and util­i­ties in lieu of rent, on fa­cil­i­ties used for town pur­poses.

The Petro­lia and Cen­tral Lambton pa­per re­ported Baron did not dis­close to town coun­cil he owned those fa­cil­i­ties through a num­bered com­pany.

John Flem­ing was hired as a third-party in­ves­ti­ga­tor to re­view the sit­u­a­tion. He has pre­sented his re­port to coun­cil, but it won’t be made public “since it per­tains to per­son­nel mat­ters,” the town’s news re­lease says.

Mandi Pear­son is the town’s in­terim chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer and clerk un­til the po­si­tion is per­ma­nently filled, of­fi­cials said, not­ing the firm of Tim L Dob­bie Con­sult­ing Ltd. has been re­tained for the search.

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