The Township of Muskoka Lakes is facing a brand new $1.7 million dollar lawsuit. Filed by Sheila Durand, the claim is that the Township unlawfully fired Durand as Secretary Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer of the Muskoka Lakes Public Library Board. Chair of the Muskoka Lakes Public Library Board Patricia Gidley is also named as a defendant.
According to the statement of claim, its Durand’s position that her firing was motivated by/effected by political interference from the Mayor of Muskoka Lakes Township Alice Murphy and that Patricia Gidley as chair of the board, as well as the board and the Township had an obligation and duty to protect Durand as a public servant and employee. Durand was fired on July 30th and her replacement was announced August 26th. Durand was contacted by the Moose and declined comment as the suit is now before the courts. The Moose also contacted Mayor Alice Murphy and the Township’s interim CAO Clayton Harris. Harris says he will withhold comment until the Township has been served with the papers. Murphy tells us the Library Board is appointed by Council, but operates as an independent organization under separate legislation. She says the Board was appointed by Council to provide governance and oversight over library operations and that neither she nor Council are privy to information regarding personnel. Murphy also says she has not been advised of any details regarding any litigation related to the Library.