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Former zoo director sues for wrongful termination

Being let go from a job is seldom an enjoyable experience. When being fired from a position is accompanied by accusations of fraud and involves the police, it must be a very bitter pill to swallow, indeed. A former zoo director from east of Ontario has chosen to sue his ex-employer for wrongful termination after an especially acrimonious dismissal.

On July 4, 2016, the board of directors for the Cherry Brook Zoo in New Brunswick met to discuss financial irregularities first noticed by zoo staff in April 2015. The irregularities concerned the purchases allegedly made by the zoo director and his wife on behalf of the zoo. That same month, the board would end up evicting the couple from their home on zoo property with police officers in attendance. 

The former director claims the zoo was unable to acquire its own credit card, so he and his wife made purchases for the zoo on their personal card. The zoo would later reimburse them for whatever they'd bought. In their defence, the board claims the zoo could have had its own card, but the couple was eager to collect reward points on their card. A statement from the board called some of the purchases "willful and deliberate acts of dishonesty."

In his suit, the director referred to the board's actions as malicious and humiliating. The local fraud unit continues to investigate the claims of financial misdeeds. None of the allegations have been proven in court as yet.

This is an especially complicated case of alleged wrongful termination, with both sides claiming the other party has wronged them in some manner. A case of this sort could drag on for a very long time before a resolution is reached. For any person claiming they have been wrongfully dismissed from his or her job, it may be useful to partner with a personal injury lawyer. His or her knowledge of Ontario labour law may prove to be invaluable in a quest for justice and compensation.

Source: CBC News - New Brunswick, "Cherry Brook Zoo alleges former director practised 'dishonesty'", Connell Smith, Dec. 13, 2016

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