Former BCLC CEO Michael Graydon found in conflict of interest by review
Former British Columbia Lottery Corporation CEO Michael Graydon was in a conflict of interest before he left the post for a job with a company seeking to build a new casino next to B.C. Place.
But a report, released today (July 10) by the B.C. government, found "no evidence" Graydon's new employer benefited from the conflict, which lasted for two months.
"The review also found that while he had access to confidential information in his role as CEO, there was no evidence that information was removed or used inappropriately to benefit his new employer," a Ministry of Finance news release states.
According to the report, Graydon told the BCLC board on January 29, 2014, that he was resigning effective March 31. His last day of work was February 4.
On February 7 came an announcement naming Graydon as the president of PV Hospitality ULC, which is affiliated with Paragon Gaming Inc. He started the new job on February 11.
"Mr. Graydon’s first priority was announced as being the oversight and operations of a new 'urban resort' to be located adjacent to BC Place in Vancouver, BC," the report notes.
"Paragon Gaming is the operator of the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver and has been in negotiation since the spring of 2009, with the City of Vancouver and BC Pavilion Corporation, to move the casino to a permanent location and develop an urban resort. Edgewater Casino’s current location has always been regarded as temporary."
The report says Graydon was in "employment discussions" with Paragon in December 2013 and January 2014.
"Given BCLC’s conflict of interest guidelines and the above information, it is our opinion that Michael Graydon was in a conflict of interest that was not disclosed. As an individual, Mr. Graydon would have a private economic interest in his prospective employment with an affiliate of Paragon Gaming. This interest could be considered significant enough to at least establish a reasonable apprehension that it would influence the duties and responsibilities of a CEO of BCLC," the report concludes.
"Had Mr. Graydon advised the Board of Directors of this conflict earlier than January 29, 2014, it is possible that steps to address it could have been taken."
In response to the review, the ministry's release says, the BCLC will "implement new post-employment restrictions for its next CEO and senior executives that will bar employment with private sector employers in the B.C. gaming industry for a minimum of one year".