Plympton-Wyoming releasing few details of exit of top executives

Fire Chief Darryl Thompson on the top left and CAO Carolyn Tripp, seated beside Mayor Gary Atkinson in this photo at the inauguration of council in December, are no longer with the town. Tripp has been named the CAO of North Middlesex.

After a three-and-a-half month human resources investigation in Plympton-Wyoming and a week after word the two top administrators were no longer employed by the town, the municipality has finally issued a statement.

It says, in full, “Please be advised that Darryl Thompson is no longer employed by the Town of Plympton-Wyoming effective May 18, 2023. The town would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavours. As this is a confidential personnel matter, the town will not be making any further comment.”

Fire Chief Darryl Thompson was placed on administrative leave and Chief Administrative Officer Carolyn Tripp went off on sick leave in mid February.
Employees were told May 18 via an email seen by The Independent that the pair no longer worked for the municipality and any questions from the public about their departures should to the Deputy CAO Norma Roddick-Preece. It’s not clear why the CAO was not named in the public statement.

Council has met behind closed doors dealing with personnel and legal issues nearly a dozen times since the CAO and fire chief went on leave. A special meeting was held Feb. 15. Mayor Gary Atkinson has declined to comment on what prompted Thompson’s administrative leave nor will comment about the investigation which the town undertook into the incident. We do know the town’s lawyers have been involved in the three-and-a half month probe.

Atkinson, speaking to The Independent Tuesday, said little would be released about the reasons behind the departure of the CAO and fire chief since it is a personnel issue adding a statement would be released on the issue. It was released Wednesday afternoon.

Atkinson also declined to answer questions about the cost of the investigation yet since the town is “still in the middle of it.’”

It’s not clear how long it will take for Plympton-Wyoming to fill the positions left by the departure of its two top administrators. Atkinson says council has yet to make a decision on the hiring process.

“I think we’d like to have somebody in position sooner than later. Staff have been very good at filling in the blanks for the last little while, but I think we have to have some leadership there,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson says staff members currently covering the now vacant positions, Deputy CAO Norma Roddick-Preece and Fire Chief Scott Jordan, will continue until new staff have been hired.

Thompson – who is also the director of fire and emergency services – came to Plympton-Wyoming in April 2021 from Caledon where he was a professional firefighter.

He was hired after Steve Clemens resigned. Clemens left in October 2020 after three years being dogged by controversies such as a video camera surveillance in the Wyoming station and the firing of three senior firefighters.

Tripp came to Plympton-Wyoming shortly after she parted ways with the Town of Midland in 2016 in what she termed as a “conflict with council” at that time.