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Fired Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop gets $500Gs severance

By Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun

Former Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop. (Toronto Sun files)

Former Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop. (Toronto Sun files)

Embattled former Pan Am Games CEO Ian Troop has walked away from the job with a cash kiss-off of $500,000.

TO2015 officials issued a statement Friday — in what can be considered a rare act of transparency — spelling out the details of Troop’s severance package.

That package includes a cash payout of $478,000, legal fees of $3,500, payments for outplacement of $10,000 and health benefits for the severance period of $15,800.

He will also get a deferred RRSP payment of $27,300.

Troop was axed in mid-December following two months of bordering on scandalous revelations, revealed exclusively in the Toronto Sun, that he and most of his senior management team, all making $300,000 or more, spent with impunity on travel to far-flung lands, team meals and other perks of the job. They even went so far as to expense $1.89 cups of Starbucks tea and coffee.

After dogged media scrutiny, the Kathleen Wynne government and the TO2015 brass finally admitted the $1.4-billion games budget does not include the $1.1-billion cost of the Athlete’s Village.

The cash kiss-off amounts to less than the $1-million claims made by PC MPP Rod Jackson and other sources close to the Pan Am organization in a Toronto Sun story of two weeks ago. At the time, TO 2015 Chairman David Peterson told the Toronto Sun that Troop, who made $477,259 last year, was entitled in his 2011 contract to a year’s severance, but that the axed CEO had hired a lawyer and negotiations were underway.

Peterson also denied claims made by sources that he’d offered Troop $750,000 to walk away.

Troop could not be reached for comment but Peterson said it was “a happy resolution and they’ll move on.”

He couldn’t say out of which line item the payout will come, noting there are “contingencies obviously in every budget.”

Despite being less than originally anticipated, let’s not forget this is taxpayer money paid out essentially to compensate for the Liberal government’s lack of vigilence and incompetence.

Jackson, the party’s Pan Am critic, said this payout is yet another indication of the government making mistakes and “bad decisions” and “letting the Ontario taxpayer pay for it.”

He added that it is absolute “hogwash” this won’t cost the taxpayer any extra money and disputed Peterson’s claim the amount will be absorbed by the $1.4-billion games budget. Jackson said there are still “so many unknowns” and potential unexpected costs for which the $500,000 could be used.

“It just shows that they’re extremely out of touch,” he said, contending that he’s also “very skeptical” that the $500,000 represents the full extent of Troop’s kiss-off deal.

“Between the government, Ian Troop and David Peterson, they want to see this whole thing go away ... and all of them get on with their lives at the expense of the Ontario taxpayer.”

Peterson, meanwhile, insisted those suggesting that the payout will not be absorbed in the games budget are wrong, adding “what am I supposed to tell you? The answer is they’re wrong, they’re uniformed.”

NDP sports critic Paul Miller also criticized what he called an “Olympic-sized payday,” suggesting it sends a terrible message to families that are working harder than ever to make ends meet.

“People are tired of the Liberals total inability to respect the tax dollars they send to Queen’s Park,” he said in a statement.

sue-ann.levy@sunmedia.ca

 


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