BRITISH COLUMBIA

Former B.C. auditor general sues province for unpaid benefits and expenses

03/20/2014 05:33 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - British Columbia's former auditor general has filed a civil suit against the province for unpaid benefits and expenses and for allegedly making him the subject of a smear campaign.

A statement of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court says John Doyle is still owed 18 weeks of vacation time, 10 weeks of retirement entitlement, and reimbursement for travel and relocation expenses.

The court document filed Thursday also says the former government watchdog is owed expenses related to the sale of his home in Victoria and a pension entitlement.

The document says those terms and conditions were laid out when Doyle accepted his job in August 2007 and that when he resigned in May 2013, he and the government agreed he would be paid for his unused vacation, pensions and benefits entitlement.

"In or about December 2013, the plaintiff contacted the (Office of the Auditor General) to demand payment from the defendant of the vacation entitlement and travel expenses, and to seek confirmation that the defendant would provide the plaintiff with the removal expenses and increased pension when those liabilities become due," it says.

"To date, the defendant has not confirmed that it either accepts or rejects the plaintiff's claims...indicating that it is investigating the claims."

A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry said the province is aware of the lawsuit, though it has yet to receive the statement of claim and will not be commenting.

Doyle's claim also alleges the government acted maliciously when unnamed officials told the media last March that Doyle's expenses and benefits were being investigated by police, causing him mental distress.

"The plaintiff is unaware of any such investigation," the court document says.

"At no time did the defendant ever advise the plaintiff that such an investigation was taking place, or identify the basis for such an investigation, if any investigation did in fact take place."

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rob Vermeulen refused to confirm or deny that the force was investigating Doyle, saying investigation details are only revealed when the Crown lays charges.

The auditor general is an independent position appointed by the legislative assembly.

Doyle resigned last May after a six-year tenure that saw him frequently criticize the provincial government for mismanagement.

The Liberal-dominated committee in charge of Doyle's re-appointment decided last March not to extend his job for another six-year term, instead offering him a two-year extension. Doyle declined.

He is now a state auditor general in Australia.

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