By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The former auditor general for the City of Oshawa has found himself a new gig in the nickel city.
Ron Foster, who served as the city’s auditor general from 2006 to 2013, is taking on the same position in Sudbury.
Foster was given a five-year contract, which is set to begin on Dec. 1.
“I welcome the opportunity to work with council and staff at the city of Greater Sudbury,” Foster said in an emailed statement.
According to Greater Sudbury Councillor Mike Jakubo, the hiring process for the city’s new auditor general was an extensive one. Jakubo chaired the committee responsible for finding a new auditor general after the city’s previous auditor general, Brian Bigger, took a leave of absence to run a successful campaign for mayor.
Jakubo says the hiring process began in May and the city considered 18 applications for the position that was eventually awarded to Foster.
Foster left the City of Oshawa in 2013 after council agreed not to renew his contract.
His leave from the city was clouded in controversy after Foster released a damning report that accused the city manager of muzzling the auditor general’s office, among other things, in regards to the city’s purchase of the property at 199 Wentworth St. E., now home to the new consolidated operations depot.
The controversy around the report came to a head when independent auditor George Rust-D’Eye was hired by the city to investigate Foster’s allegations and found them to be baseless.
Protesters attended the meeting of council that led to Foster’s contract renewal being dismissed and a pair of citizens was arrested inside the council chambers by plain-clothed police officers.
Jakubo says Greater Sudbury was well aware of the situation in Oshawa.
“Certainly it was something that we were aware of in our background checks,” he said.
However, Jakubo says it is the job of the auditor general to address sensitive topics.
“What we know from the position of auditor general, from time to time, the auditor general’s job is to bring forward and make public, conversations that are not going to be easy,” he said.