Municipality refuses to comment on alleged harassment complaint

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The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has released a statement following news alleging new Chief Executive Thomas Kelly is under investigation by the Department of Labour.

It is alleged that the Department of Labor Training and Skills Development was made aware of the harassment complaint against Thomas Kelly after it was filed on November 22, 2021.

Kelly was first hired by the municipality in 2012 and is the current General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering. On November 15, 2021, it was announced that Kelly had been named Chatham-Kent’s new CAO. Kelly was to replace acting CAO Don Shropshire, who was due to retire at the end of last year.

However, council regulations to approve Kelly’s promotion were not passed and Shropshire remains the current chief executive.

“Council chose not to pass it,” Shropshire said when asked why the bylaw was not passed. “I don’t have any information other than that.”

The municipality declined to comment on the department’s investigation into Kelly’s conduct and its impact on the chief executive’s role in Chatham-Kent.

The municipality said it would not discuss investigations involving specific employees because it would violate the confidentiality of complainants and respondents.

“The municipality does not comment on personnel matters,” Shropshire said.

Shropshire released the following statement.

“Every time the municipality receives a complaint, it is taken seriously and investigated appropriately. The Municipality is guided by its responsibilities as an employer under various laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Human Rights Code and the Municipal Access to Information Act and the protection of privacy. Comprehensive policies are in place to ensure our work environment is respectful, and the terms of these policies are shared with all employees.

Following the investigation, no further comments will be made by the Municipality for the moment.

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