Sooke CAO no longer with district

Mayor announces departure at Monday night’s council meeting

Teresa Sullivan

Sooke’s chief administrative officer is no longer an employee of the district.

Mayor Maja Tait announced the departure of Teresa Sullivan at the start of Monday’s council meeting. She released no further details.

“I can’t say anything further on it. That’s just the way it is with governing laws,” she said

Finance director Brent Blackhall was named acting CAO.

Councillors did not discuss how they would search for a new CAO.

Sullivan, who was appointed chief administrative officer in December 2015, made a $140,000-a-year salary and was Sooke’s the sixth chief administrative officer since municipal incorporation in 1999.

RELATED: Sooke hires new chief administrative officer

At the time of Sullivan’s hiring, the council wanted stability with the position, economic growth and community development and see city hall go in a different direction.

During her tenure, she oversaw rapid development and growth in the community, the establishment of a parks work crew, and the wastewater treatment facility returning to municipal control.

RELATED: Witnesses sought in alleged CAO harassment

However, her tenure was rocky from the beginning.

Sullivan had barely taken her coat off when when then-finance director Michael Dillabaugh announced he was leaving for a similar job in View Royal, municipal engineer Elisabeth Nelson left for personal reasons and long-time corporate officer Bonnie Sprinkling and the district parted company. The only long-serving manager remaining was then-fire chief Steve Sorensen, who retired months later.

And while part of Sullivan’s mandate was to form partnerships with businesses, organizations and residents (she said she met with hundreds of people), she did have opposition from social media groups and others culminating with a harassment incident outside her Sooke home.

Sullivan took a leave of absence for three months last year, due to a family issue.

Sullivan was not available for comment.

More to come …

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