City of Hamilton fires two workers over pot brownies
Duo sacked for after co-worker unwittingly eats drug-laced snack and then heads out on the job.
Jan. 14, 2015
Matthew Van Dongen
The city has fired two roads employees blamed for bringing pot brownies to a public works yard and sharing them with an unknowing co-worker — who then went out on shift.
The city initially suspended two male workers, described as “seasoned” public works employees, suspecting of bringing the banned baked goods to the Stoney Creek yard Dec. 22.
Public works head Gerry Davis said the 20-year-old worker who unwittingly consumed the drugs started experiencing an “adverse reaction” while out on the job, was driven back to the yard and was eventually taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Davis said he didn’t know what the worker was doing, or where, when he began experiencing an unspecified reaction.
But Davis reiterated the workers found to be responsible were fired for possession and use of illegal drugs on both city property “and in city vehicles.”
Road workers at this time of year could be doing anything from emergency pothole-filling to ditch-clearing.
Marijuana overdose can include symptoms such as anxiety attacks, disorientation and delusions.
Davis said the victim in this case has recovered and is back on the job.
The two employees were fired Wednesday after an internal investigation that Davis said started Dec. 24, but slowed over the Christmas holidays.
Hamilton police investigated, but determined there wasn’t enough evidence to lay charges.
Councillors were only alerted to the investigation after The Spectator learned of the banned brownies, which sources said were shared at an informal gathering at the Jones Road yard.
The Spectator couldn’t reach union representatives to find out if the terminations would be appealed, but Davis said that option is often exercised.
He said the swift firing of the two men reinforces the city’s “zero-tolerance” policy for drug use on city property.
“The health and safety of our employees is critical. That one employee’s health was jeopardized through (their) actions.”