Quiet settlement
Deal involves cash, Crisp confirms

by Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

FORT SIMPSON (Jan 30/98) - Though he might have once been the most powerful non-elected official in the village of Fort Simpson, there's not many willing to go on the record to discuss him.

On Monday, former village senior administrative officer (SAO) John Crisp confirmed in an interview that he had recently reached a deal with village council arising out of his removal from office last fall.

"We have reached a deal," he said from his Alberta home. "It's is satisfactory to both sides... If (village) council wishes to say (provide details) that's up to them."

Crisp was suddenly removed from office after an in-camera session of council last fall before village elections. The decision was later ratified -- though council's reasons have never been brought before village residents -- at a public meeting.

Since then, village politicians have steadfastly refused to discuss the reason they fired the SAO, saying they believe that personnel matters involving village staff should not be discussed in a public forum.

This week, council continued to follow this line after word leaked out to the public from the council chamber itself that funds for a deal had been approved at a recent council meeting.

The Drum was approached four times last weekend with four different monetary figures in the settlement provided by four different residents who are not on council.

Councillors did confirm Monday that a deal had been reached but refused to provide details.

In the wake of the Crisp firing, the village was swept with a variety of rumors concerning the reasons for the decision. None could be confirmed.