Dussault filed the new suit against the Corporation of the Town of Hawkesbury on September 30, seeking $270,000. This filing is additional to the $200,000 sought in the November 2021 suit against Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly and the municipality. The reason for the recent legal action has yet to be determined.
The first suit against the town stemmed from allegations of defamation after Dussault filed a request with the town integrity commissioner to investigate the mayor for municipal code of ethics violations and interference in municipal operations. This request followed after Dussault assumed the acting CAO position in July 2020. The integrity commissioner’s report was later released and received for review by the municipal council, despite the mayor’s attempts to block the report from reaching council.a
Dussault was confirmed as the town’s full-time chief administrator in March 2021. Several months later a new report from the integrity commissioner was provided to council, alleging Assaly defamed Dussault in a campaign against the reports and what the mayor claimed was “toxic atmosphere” at town hall.
In May 2022, Dussault left her position as CAO for medical leave following a contentious April council meeting which saw Dussault criticize the mayor and council for not taking action against complaints laid out in the integrity commissioner’s 2021 report. Samuel Carderelli, Hawkesbury’s director of recreation and tourism, has been serving as the town’s interim CAO since May 2022.
Officials from the town of Hawkesbury, as well as members of council, were contacted and chose not to comment. Dussault’s lawyer, Chantal Beaupré, did not respond in time for publishing.
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