Winnipeg’s now-former public works director is no longer a city employee.
Doug McNeil, the city’s chief administrative officer, confirmed Lester Deane no longer serves in any city job.
“I have high expectations for my senior management team, in terms of how they conduct themselves … In the case of Mr. Deane, he just didn’t meet my expectations any more,” said McNeil.
McNeil declined to reveal the exact performance issues involved or whether Deane resigned or was terminated. He did stress the decision wasn’t based on a single incident.
“There were a lot of factors and this didn’t just occur overnight,” he said.
The CAO indicated the employment change wasn’t related to wrongdoing that would void Deane’s contract, which means he could be entitled to city compensation.
Both the CAO and mayor declined to reveal if Deane’s clash with the mayor over the timeline required to re-open the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street to pedestrians played a role in the decision. Back in November, Deane told media he expected that initiative — one of the mayor’s campaign commitments — would take two years, which the mayor later called “inaccurate.”