City’s public works director steps down

by Sidney Cohen - April 19, 2018

Dennis Kefalas, who handled a complaint in 2014 about alleged workplace misconduct at the Municipal Enforcement Division, has resigned from his high-ranking post at the city.

Kefalas leaves his job as director of Public Works and Engineering right as an independent inquiry into those allegations and how that complaint was dealt with is set to begin.

Dennis Kefalas, the city’s director of Engineering and Public Works and former senior administrative officer, is resigning. NNSL file photo

No reasons were given for his resignation.

Kefalas has worked in the city government’s upper echelons since 2002, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Trained as an engineer, Kefalas became director of Public Works and Engineering in 2008.

He was promoted to senior administrative officer – the city’s top non-elected position – in March of 2013, but returned to his previous job in October 2016.

“The City of Yellowknife wants to thank Dennis Kefalas for his years of service to the City and wishes him all the best as he moves on to new opportunities,” Kerry Penney, the director of Policy, Communications and Economic Development, stated in an email Wednesday.

Penney said Kefalas will leave the municipal government mid-May, and that the city is currently seeking a replacement.

As the head of public works and engineering, Kefalas oversaw the final stages of the roll-out of city-wide curbside compost collection, and was in charge of city efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Last fall, hundreds of Kefalas’s emails from his time as SAO were leaked to media.

Those emails contained conversations about a complaint filed by former MED officer Shayne Pierson alleging his manager, Doug Gillard, bullied bylaw officers and made derogatory sexual comments about women who worked at the city, among other accusations.

In an email obtained by Yellowknifer, Kefalas told Pierson his complaint was unfounded, but in another an email to the lawyer investigating the complaint, he wrote that Gillard was being sent a letter of discipline.

The handling of Pierson’s complaint is a focus of the independent inquiry.

Kefalas did not respond to a request for an interview before Friday’s print deadline.