The former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Town of Crossfield is suing the municipality for more than $220,000 over a breach of contract, according to a statement of claim.
The legal counsel for Ken Bosman, who served as the Town’s top administrative employee from January 2015 until February of this year, has officially filed a lawsuit against the Town of Crossfield. The statement of claim cites a breach of employment contract and claims “bad faith” from the Town as reasons for the legal action, with remedies sought of approximately $223,000.
“The Town passed a motion on Feb. 9 to pay out Mr. Bosman’s contract,” said his lawyer, Jonathan Denis. “That’s all we’re asking for. If you look at the statement of claim itself…it would appear to us a decision is being made based on politics and not legal principles. To me, that’s quite problematic and could result in significantly higher costs to the Town than if they just honoured their obligations, like we expected.”
According to the statement of claim, in March 2020, Bosman and the Town agreed to extend his contract until the end of February 2022. While he was employed by the municipality, Bosman earned a base salary of about $193,000 a year, plus benefits and vacation time.
On Feb. 9, Bosman was released from his contract during a special council meeting, with council passing a motion to buy out the remainder of his contract.
However, the Town of Crossfield later stated in a Feb. 19 correspondence to Bosman that there was just cause for his termination.
“It’s my client’s position the motion passed on Feb. 9 constitutes a binding contract,” Denis said. “Even if it doesn’t, there is pay in lieu of notice owed to my client here. He just wants to be treated like any other employee of the Town would be.”
On March 16, Bosman and Denis appeared before Crossfield Town council, where Denis disputed five allegations the Town cited for his termination’s just cause in the Feb. 19 letter. According to Denis’s presentation, the municipality needed to reply to Bosman’s request by March 18. Otherwise, he would file a statement of claim against the Town and move for a summary judgment in the courts.
Following that, Crossfield Town council held a brief special meeting on March 30, where the three council members unanimously passed a motion to maintain the position that Bosman was terminated for just cause.
“In considering the information discovered with respect to the CAO’s conduct and performance, and having considered the submissions made by the CAO through his legal counsel, the Town moves that the revocation of the CAO’s appointment be for just cause," Mayor Jo Tennant said, “and that in determining the amounts owed to the CAO pursuant to his contract, such amounts be calculated on the basis there was just cause to revoke his appointment.”
The Town of Crossfield did not respond to a request for comment by press time.