A consulting firm has been hired to investigate the NWT legislature’s Office of the Clerk following allegations the clerk, Tim Mercer, created a toxic workplace environment.
Mercer is accused of abusing his authority and harassing both staff and MLAs over a period spanning more than a decade. He denies wrongdoing, says past investigations showed similar allegations to be unfounded, and has pledged to accept a “fair and impartial review” of his conduct.
On Tuesday, the Legislative Assembly’s board of management said Ottawa-based Quintet Consulting would carry out a “third-party workplace review” of the clerk’s office.
The terms of reference include both a general review of “concerns raised about the work environment” and a more specific “investigation of three individual written complaints of harassment and/or misconduct.”
In a news release, the board said Quintet had “particular expertise in the field of conflict management and prevention, including conducting administrative investigations.”
The board said current and former staff with recent experience at the legislature – “since the beginning of the 19th Assembly,” the news release stated, meaning late 2019 – will be able to speak to Quintet.
“They will be contacted by Quintet in the coming weeks,” the board stated.
There is no published timeline for the work to take place. It will result in two reports being submitted to the board. Whether those reports will be made public was not clear.