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A messy termination keeps generating questions

March 16th, 2010 · 23 Comments

I’ve been staying out of the whole complicated issue of what is behind the termination of Vancouver’s chief electrical officer Ark Tsisserev just before the Olympics. These kinds of stories, where neither side is willing to speak publicly or clearly about what is going on, are problematic to wade into, as there are often all kinds of issues that one side or the other can’t legally bring up. There have been other terminations of people at city hall under previous administrations that generated some rumblings, but they also went mostly uncovered because there was no real proof of what was going on — just a lot of friends of the fired saying it was a terrible thing, with some sinister motivation behind it, and an official denial from the city, along with vague rumours emanating from same about problems that might have led to the firing.

As I’ve said to others, these kinds of stories remind me of when media used to have a field day in the ’80s accusing the Ministry of Human Resources of all kinds of heartlessness every time someone on welfare said they’d been mistreated. That might have been the case or it might not have been, we never had any way of knowing, because the ministry was legally prohibited from giving details about a particular person’s case that might help explain what was going on.

What seems to be giving the current story legs — and enticing the larger media outlets to start covering it — is that Mayor Gregor Robertson doesn’t seem to be up to speed on what’s going on and is fumbling the ball as he goes out in public to give various explanations. Cover-up? Or just a guy who isn’t very good at giving the “official explanation” for something that can’t really be discussed publicly? I have absolutely no idea. Neither do most people, but that certainly isn’t keeping anyone from debating it. You can read all about it here, here and here.

And just to acknowledge the stinkbomb that my dear friend AT loves to throw over here on this issue: Yes, you’re the most amazing investigative journalist ever on the planet. I am unworthy and I don’t know how I’ve managed to remain employed in journalism for all these years.

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