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Martin's contract raises questions about $1.4-M severance


Published on May 24, 2016
Nalcor CEO Ed Martin says although costs of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project have increased by $800 million, it’s still the lowest cost option.  — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

The employment contract of former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin is raising serious questions about the circumstances of his departure, and the roughly $1.4 million in severance he was paid.

The Telegram obtained Martin’s contract under access to information legislation, and the terms of the contract seem to run contrary to statements made by Premier Dwight Ball.

Ball has said that Martin left of his own accord in April, with less than one week’s notice.

However, under the “termination” heading in his employment contract, Martin would only be entitled to severance in two possible scenarios.

The first scenario is if he was terminated “at the sole discretion of Nalcor,” which is not what Ball said happened.

The second possible circumstance for payout of severance is if Martin quit due to “a material reduction in the mandate of Nalcor” or “a material erosion or reduction in the role and the responsibilities of the executive,” or if Nalcor was privatized.

However, in that second scenario, Martin would have to give notice of termination “amounting to not less than (30) days” according to the contract.

In fact, Martin gave less than one week’s notice, according to Ball, and Martin said that he left because he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren.

Nonetheless, Martin was paid nearly $1.4 million in severance shortly after his departure.

“Mr. Martin's contract entitled him to severance of two times his salary, bonus and vehicle allowance which is a total of $1,387,815.74,” Nalcor Energy spokeswoman Deanne Fisher said in an email in early May. “Mr. Martin's severance payment is in accordance with applicable employment law requirements.”

The Telegram has requested an explanation for the discrepancy from both Nalcor Energy and the office of Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady.

This story will be updated if they respond.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelegramJames