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Former Niagara Region manager hired as Sarnia’s new CAO

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Journal Staff

Following a two-month search, Sarnia has a new CAO.

Christopher Carter has more than 20 years of experience in municipal administration, most recently in the Niagara Region where he was general manager of corporate services for 18 months before being let go in December.

Carter previously served as CAO for West Lincoln Township and worked for the City of Selkirk and the town of Oro-Medonte, City Hall said in a release.

The resident of Smithville, Ont. is relocating to Sarnia with his family to begin the new job on April 1, the release said.

Carter replaces Margaret Misek-Evans, who left the city’s top administrative job in December following the re-election of Mayor Mike Bradley.

Misek-Evans was one of four senior managers who were bullied and harassed by the mayor, according to a pair of third-party investigations.

Before being hired in Sarnia, Carter filed a lawsuit in February against the Niagara Region seeking $850,000 in damages for breach of contract and wrongful dismissal, the St. Catharines Standard has reported.

He also asked the court to make the municipality pay for expenses incurred in his job search and any relocation costs, the paper reported.

Carter was one of four managers fired in December for their role in the illegal seizure of reporter Bill Sawchuk’s computer and notes during a Niagara Region council meeting, The Standard said.

The Ontario Ombudsman ruled the municipality had violated Sawchuk’s constitutional rights.

As Sarnia’s CAO, Carter will report to city council and be responsible for 424 full-time employees, a $145-million operating budget, and $29.8-million capital budget.

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