Former Senators exec suing owner Melnyk for $1.55 million, alleged abuse


A former top Ottawa Senators Executive is suing club owner Eugene Melnyk over his termination last December.

Peter O’Leary, former Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-President of Ticketing for the Senators, recently filed the $1.55-million lawsuit, alleging that his firing nearly four months ago was a breach of contract, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

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In the 23-page claim, O’Leary alleges that Melnyk, Senators majority owner since 2003, “used profanity and levelled insults at executive team members, including constantly calling into question their competency.” O’Leary, who was hired in August of 2014, also claims that Melnyk “sent abusive emails to the executive team and frequently threatened to dismiss them.”

When O’Leary was relieved of his duties on Dec. 12 last year, Melnyk labelled him “dishonest” and said his performance was “dismal.” He cited absenteeism and a reluctance to work with external consultants in the termination letter, according to the statement of claim.

Here is what O’Leary is seeking in the claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, according to the Ottawa Citizen:

  • 650,000 in breach of contract payment for failure to pay O’Leary’s base salary in lieu of 24 months notice of termination.

  • Breach of contract for failure to pay $200,000 in bonuses (in lieu of 24 months notice).

  • Payment for breach of employee benefits (amount to be determined prior to trial).

  • $200,000 in damages for breach of faith and fair dealing in the manner of dismissal.

  • Punitive and exemplary damages to the sum of $500,000.

  • Further legal action is pending from ousted managers seeking severance.

Further legal action is reportedly pending from other former executives and managers seeking severance for their dismissals.

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