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Former mayor signed contract with city before stepping down

Details have emerged about former Lloydminster mayor Jeff Mulligan’s last days in office.

The Meridian Booster reports that the office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner has released a contract between the city and Mulligan’s company, AHHA Moments Inc., for consultation, signed the same day Mulligan announced his resignation following an hour and-a-half private council meeting on July 22, 2013.

Under the contract, the city would pay $2,000 a day, for 720 days of work, for a total of $1.4 million. However, the timeframe was only used as a frame of reference within the contract, and the contract could be extended or terminated at anytime by either party.

The city made three payments to Mulligan’s company, in the amounts of $21,000 on Sep. 13, 2013, and another payment of $16,333.94 on Oct 4, 2013. A termination payment in the amount of $120,000 was made on October 21, 2013, for a total cost to the city of $157,333.94 over the life of the contract.

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Mulligan says the contract was entered into legally, and that a condition of accepting the contract was his resignation from the city.

“The working agreement really made me a contracted employee of the City, just with no employee benefits,” said Mulligan, in an emailed statement. “There are many similar instances where elected officials have left their positions to join their municipality as employees or contracted employees in Saskatchewan and Alberta. There are precedents right here in Lloydminster, at both the City and the School Division. This is exactly the transition that  took place in my case.”

Mulligan also defended the city’s decision to not put the contract out to tender, as they usually do for such projects.

“City management determined, my proven experience, intimate knowledge of the mission critical strategic priorities, internal resources, core organizational competencies and the regional marketplace, better enabled the City of Lloydminster to secure a qualified community committed professional resource,” said Mulligan.

Mulligan also said the project was not subject to a council vote, and that the awarding of the contract was operational management’s responsibility.

In a statement given to media following the August 24, 2015, session of City Council, Deputy CAO Kirk Morrison said the municipal government adhered to the purchasing policy. No further statement was given on the matter, and the release of the contract was not discussed at council.

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