The first internal auditor in the city's history, Bigger has been on the job since 2009. He has frequently clashed with councillors and staff in the last five years, and has often complained about lack of co-operation from staff when conducting his internal audits.
Those frustrations led Bigger to consider running for mayor in the Oct. 27 municipal election. Provincial laws give municipal employees the right to take time off work to run in local elections.
Section 30 of the Ontario Municipal Elections Act says anyone who meets the definition of an employee is entitled to take unpaid leave to enter politics.
“An employee of a municipality or local board is eligible to be a candidate for and to be elected as a member of the council or local board ... if he or she takes an unpaid leave of absence, beginning as of the day the employee is nominated and ending on voting day,” the Act reads. “The employee is entitled, as of right, to take unpaid leave.”
However, Bigger is on a contract with the city, so it's unclear whether he meets the definition of an “employee” and so would be entitled to the unpaid leave.
Thursday's special city council meeting will be held at noon at Tom Davies Square. Because it's a personnel matter, the meeting will be held behind closed doors. But any resolution passed during the meeting will be made public.