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Mazza’s salary not excessive: former Ornge exec

May 16, 2012  By The Canadian Press

May 16, 2012, Toronto - A former director of Ornge in charge of compensation is defending the pay packages of top executives at Ontario's troubled air ambulance service.

Luis Navas says the six-figure compensation paid to ousted CEO Chris
Mazza wasn't unusually high for someone working in the health
transportation sector.

Mazza's compensation eventually reached $1.4 million, but Navas told a legislative committee that he left the board before that.

Navas was also grilled on his employment history at Ornge, which is
currently under a criminal investigation, and his work on a $2-million
contract with Italian helicopter firm AgustaWestland.

Navas says he was never chief operating officer of Ornge Global, one of
the for-profit spinoff companies that's currently in bankruptcy


He insisted that he was just an advisor to Ornge Global, even when
Conservative Frank Klees produced a business letter that Navas signed as

Navas says he never had an employment agreement with Ornge Global and
signed the letter as COO because it wouldn't have been "productive'' to
sign it as an advisor.

Kelly Long, a former junior executive at Ornge and Mazza's girlfriend,
testified that Navas was COO of Ornge Global and that she reported to

A spokesman for Ornge also said Navas became chief operating officer of
Ornge Global Solutions in January 2011, but no payment has been made on
that contract since last August.

But Navas says that's not the case and he only worked as an advisor to Ornge Global.

Navas also told the committee that he sat on Ornge's board of directors
from 2006 until 2009 and he served as chairman of the compensation

Ornge spokesman James MacDonald said Navas served on the board from 2005
until 2010. Navas said there's a discrepancy because he resigned in the
2010 fiscal year.


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