Former B.C. Lottery Corp. CEO Michael Graydon was in discussions to jump to a Vancouver casino company for two months before the told the BCLC board of directors about his conflict of interest.
That finding by an internal government audit has triggered new restrictions for departing Crown corporation employees. But it won’t cost Graydon any of the generous departure terms he received when he told the BCLC board of directors in late January he was quitting.
Graydon went to work for a company affiliated with Paragon Gaming, which is moving its existing downtown Vancouver casino to a new resort hotel development next to B.C. Place stadium.
Despite his resignation and a conflict of interest policy that applies to BCLC staff, the board saw Graydon off with a performance bonus, vacation pay and an extra two months’ salary totalling about $125,000.
BCLC board chairman Bud Smith issued a statement Thursday saying that the audit shows “the information provided by Mr. Graydon to the board was incomplete and/or inaccurate.”
When Graydon’s departure was made public in early February, NDP critic Shane Simpson termed it a “sweetheart deal” that violated the government’s policy of not paying severance to people who quit.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced Thursday that BCLC and all public sector organizations will have the same rules as the senior public service, including a one-year ban on taking a job with organizations that have done business with the government entity.
The internal audit reviewed Graydon’s appointment calendar and email records for the period when he was discussing his new role with Paragon. It did not find any disclosure of confidential BCLC information or decisions benefiting Paragon made during that time.
The audit also found that Graydon was allowed to keep BCLC-issued mobile devices, and that his access to the BCLC computer system remained in place for 10 days after he left.