The city of Charlottetown is hiring a new CAO after months of controversy
Ten months after Charlottetown City Council voted to fire former Chief Administrative Officer Peter Kelly, the city has announced that Eleanor Mohammed will step in as the new CAO.
Mohammed succeeds Donna Waddell, the interim CAO, who was appointed at the same time Kelly was fired without reason in a public council motion in May 2022.
Waddell had previously retired from that position when Kelly was hired in 2016.
Kelly became the center of controversy in 2022 after CBC News reported that two of his former deputies claimed they were fired after raising concerns about the city’s administration and finances.
Earlier this month, the Charlottetown City Council was briefed behind closed doors on the results of a forensic audit examining financial concerns surrounding Kelly’s tenure.
Accounting firm BDO was hired by the city in September to review financial concerns raised by the city’s former deputy CAO Scott Messervey, who detailed them in a letter to councilors shortly after his dismissal in January 2019.
At the time, Messervey told council members that he was fired by Kelly, his then-boss, in retaliation for raising those concerns.
Kelly was fired by the council last May with no reason given.
According to the city, Mohammed will oversee a municipal budget of over $180 million and over 400 employees.
“Following an extensive CAO search, I am pleased to welcome Eleanor Mohammed to the Charlottetown team,” Charlottetown Mayor Phillip Brown said in a statement.
“Eleanor’s community experience and proven leadership success will serve our growing community well. We look forward to welcoming Eleanor to City Hall in the coming weeks.”
Mohammed previously worked for the province in the Department of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Fisheries. Mohammed also had a portfolio with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land.
“Eleanor’s commitment to collaboration, accountability and transparency aligns well with the strategic direction of the council and staff,” Justin Muttart, city councilman and chair of the human resources committee, said in the statement.
“I am very satisfied with the recruitment process and the due diligence by the selection committee and council. Eleanor will be a great addition and we look forward to working with her.”
Mohammed will start at City Hall in late March and officially step in as CAO in early April.