CK Sunshine List of public $100K earners has a few surprises

Nurses, police, fire, and municipal employees make up the majority of public sector workers in Chatham-Kent earning good wages, but there's one name on the list who didn’t have to work a single day in 2023 to take home a six-figure salary.

The provincial sunshine list disclosing public sector salaries for those earning $100,000 or more last year showed hundreds of local Registered Nurses, Police Constables, Firefighters, and Bureaucrats were paid $100,000 or more in 2023. Among the top earners locally was Chatham-Kent's former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Thomas Kelly. He earned $240,000 last year when he wasn't even employed by the municipality. Kelly and the municipality parted ways two years ago after the Ministry of Labour concluded its investigation into alleged workplace harassment at the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and ordered the municipality to investigate the matter.

Chatham-Kent's Manager of Corporate Communications Eric Labadie said he can't get into Kelly's private contract details, but added 2023 is the last year he'll appear on the municipality's Sunshine List.

"Mr. Kelly appears on the list as part of Council’s employment obligation to him, but for confidentiality reasons, I cannot provide specific contractual details. I cannot get into the specifics, but can tell you that Mr. Kelly’s name will not appear on the 2024 Salary Disclosure List," Labadie said.

Topping the list were two Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres physicians. Vishal Chawla earned $422,460, while Lalit Chawla was paid $342,740.

The third highest earner in Chatham-Kent was current CAO Michael Duben getting paid $319,277, hospital CEO Lori Marshall came next with a salary of $290,077, followed by police chief Gary Conn with $265,545.

Others paid $100,000 or more in 2023, include CK Fire Chief Chris Case with a $222,273 salary, CK Mayor Darrin Canniff earning $116,747, Director of Education at the Lambton-Kent District School Board John Howitt at $257,000, and Director of Education with the St.Clair Catholic District School Board Scott Johnson at $251,361.

The Chatham-Kent Sunshine List has nearly 700 names on it.

Click here to see the entire list.

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