Responding to an FOI request by the Bay Observer the city of Hamilton has disclosed that it paid almost $35,000 for a report from Toronto consultant Ann Grant that was used to justify the dismissal of three city employees who were fired in the aftermath of a confrontation between Ward 3 Councillor Bernie Morelli and a city taxi inspector. That brings to total cost including legal fees to over $600,000 as the city is defending against a wrongful dismissal suit launched by the three.

The two sides are in negotiations at present, and depending on the results of those talks the cost to taxpayers could increase. Consultant Grant has denied recommending the firing of the three employees who were accused of bullying the taxi inspector after the row with Morelli. Council declined to censure Morelli for what court documents describe as an obscenity-laced tirade wherein the taxi inspector’s job was threatened. Council ultimately voted to make changes to the taxi inspector job description that rendered the inspector in question no longer qualified for the position.

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