Article published on 24 April 2014

BCLC CEO Graydon Contract Criticized

Graydon's Move to Private Gambling Group Under Investigation
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Lawmakers are demanding an investigation into a severance package given to the former CEO of the BC Lottery Corporation, as a law specialist calls Michael Graydon's contract with the BCLC flawed and "poorly drafted".

According to Richard LeBlanc, an associate professor of law, governance and ethics at Canada's York University, Graydon's contract was so badly flawed that he was surprised that the government allowed its lawyers to draft such a deal.

LeBlanc called that agreement "a failure on the part of the BCLC board of directors", saying that it was a "poorly drafted and negotiated executive contract for someone in Mr. Graydon's position."

Graydon Move to PV Hospitality Criticized

Most surprisingly, said the expert, is the fact that the contract allowed Graydon to quit from his position as head of the lottery corporation in February and less than a week later, take up a new role as president of a private gambling company.

Graydon now heads PV Hospitality ULC, a joint venture between Paragon Gaming and 360 VOX Corp which is developing a casino resort in Vancouver.

The BCLC has defended it standards and has said that all employees are bound by its ethical code of conduct.

However, some worry that Graydon's knowledge of gambling activities in the province could be used towards the expansion of the Edgewater Casino, part of a $535 million resort planned by Paragon.

Severance Package Questioned

Opposition lawmaker, Shane Simpson also criticized the $125,000 in extra salary, bonus and vacation packages that Graydon received after quitting as head of BCLC, despite a government policy which states that officials are not allowed to receive severance pay when they resign.

Graydon received a "sweetheart deal", claims Simpson, over and above the $465,000 earned by the CEO in 2012/13 which included a base salary, benefits, pension and more.

While Graydon left at the beginning of February, he was paid until the end of March.

The issue is even more problematic, considering that the government is set to cut 67 BCLC jobs during rising costs and financial pressures.

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