FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A lawsuit filed against the City of Fort St. John from a former employee has been dismissed by a B.C Supreme Court judge.
Daniel Golob was one of two deputy chiefs at the FSJ Fire Department before the City fired him last year. He then sued the City for wrongful termination, stating that he was dismissed without cause and should have been entitled to severance pay.
The firing of Golob began after Fire Chief Darrell Blades and Director of Human Resources with the City, Rashid Hasan, “discussed concerns the Chief had about the union membership’s willingness to accept Mr. Golob as a Deputy Chief, and Mr. Golob’s willingness to accept Mr. Blades as Chief,” according to court documents.
After this discussion, an investigation into Golob began with Blades and Hasan conducting interviews with nine firefighters as well as the other deputy fire chief. During these interviews, from June 11th to 19th, 2020, it was disclosed that there was dissatisfaction with the way Golob led and taught during his time as a training officer.
The court documents state, “they all perceived Mr. Golob as being loud, brusque and often profane. His leadership style was described by some as dictatorial. Each of the members interviewed expressed some negative views about Mr. Golob’s personality, and recounted one or more encounters with Mr. Golob that they found unpleasant.”
On June 22nd, 2020, Golob was requested to a meeting senior City management staff and Blades, where he was read a letter of termination and handed his city-issued cell phone in.
On the cell phone, it was discovered that Golob had text messages with Captain Mark D’Agostino during the time he was applying for the fire department’s other deputy chief position. The exchange itself was deemed “grossly inappropriate” in court documents and found that Golob suggested D’Agostino “use his seniority to block others who might be considered for promotion,” according to documents.
The court found that the City’s decision to fire Golob with cause was justified considering he had breached the fundamental terms of his employment contract with his conversation with D’Agostino and his insolence towards Blades.
The court dismissed Golob’s lawsuit, and he was ordered to pay partial court costs for the city.