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Outgoing Rooms CEO Dean Brinton was terminated without cause, resulting in a hefty payout.
The government announcedFriday afternoon Brinton’s role with The Rooms “had concluded.”
After questioning, Finance Minister Tom Osborne confirmed Brinton had been terminated without cause, resulting in a payout to the former executive.
“Mr. Brinton received entitlement of 11 months’ salary and benefits based on the termination provisions of his contract and calculated on the basis of his annual salary of $160,964, as well as a lump sum payment for legal fees,” Osborne wrote in a statement.
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador would like to thank Mr. Brinton for his 14 years of service and his contributions to The Rooms. We wish him well in future endeavours.”
Osborne says negotiations to see Brinton leave the CEO role were finalized at the end of June. The government waited until a Friday afternoon, at least two weeks later, to announce the change.
The Department of Finance did not give the full dollar amount of Brinton’s final payday from The Rooms. Some basic math suggests $147,550 will be paid out, based on the salary calculations. The total value of the legal fees is unclear.
“We will not be providing any further details around the circumstances of Mr. Brinton’s departure from The Rooms as that is personal information,” Osbornewrote.
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Chris Mitchelmore did not reply to a request for comment.
Brinton was named chief executive officer of The Rooms in 2005.
In 2018, Brinton earned a total of $185,900 — $161,000 in base salary, with a $24,800 severance payment.
Severance payments were made to all public-sector workers in 2018 following the elimination of severance as part of NAPE and CUPE contracts that have reverberated throughout the public service.
Anne Chafe will take over as CEO of The Rooms in the interim. Chafe earned $136,900 in total in 2018 as executive director of the provincial museum.
A search for a permanent replacement for Brinton is underway.
It’s the second time in recent memory that the provincial government has stuck its head into the leadership of The Rooms.
Carle Foote, daughter of Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote, was appointed executive director of marketing and development for The Rooms without competition in October 2018. At the time, Mitchelmore defended the appointment as a “lateral move,” pointing to Foote’s experience as a communications director within executive council.