ORNGE: Chris Mazza of ORNGE Got $4.6 Million in Two Years

Update: see previous posts – February 4, 2013 ORNGE: Dr. Chris Mazza Enjoyed Lavish Getaways On the Taxpayer’s Dime, February 3, 2013 ORNGE: Mount Sinai Orders Review of Hospital’s ‘Agreement’ with Chris Mazza After Toronto Star Exposes Agreement, January 19, 2013 ORNGE: Highest Paid Ontario Civil Servant (1.4 Million Annually) Chris Mazza, Lived Lavish Lifestyle, December 28, 2012 ORNGE: ORNGE Sets Up Policy to Protect Whistleblowers in Wake of Scandal, December 20, 2012 ORNGE: New Leader of ORNGE Will Only Receive Half the Compensation of the Former Leader and Founder Dr. Chris Mazza, November 9, 2012 ORNGE: Chris Mazza Wanted Out, but Board Didn’t Want Him to Go, August 3, 2012 ORNGE: Government Probe of ORNGE Ends For Summer Break & other posts

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Former CEO of ORNGE Air Ambulance Service, Dr. Chris Mazza.

Salary, bonuses and housing loans add up to much higher figure than previously thought.

Dr. Chris Mazza received a hefty $4.6 million in public dollars in his last two years at ORNGE — a lot more than previously known.

That amount includes salary and bonus of $1.9 million in his last year as president; $1.5 million in salary and bonus the year before; a $250,000 cash advance against a future bonus; and two housing loans totalling $950,000.

Mazza’s $1.9-million earnings in 2011 make him the highest paid publicly funded official in Ontario that year, $100,000 ahead of Tom Mitchell, the president of Ontario Power Generation.

Previously, Mazza’s maximum annual salary was thought to be $1.4 million.

Dr. Chris Mazza

The Star has confirmed this new information from sources with knowledge of sealed records sent by ORNGE to Queen’s Park. Ten pages of records containing the salary details were blacked out by the province when it made his expense and some other payment records public.

Mazza founded ORNGE in 2005, and was the president and chief executive officer of the provincial air ambulance service until he went on medical leave in late 2011 and ultimately lost his job the next month.

Here’s the breakdown of Mazza’s salary.

In 2010, Mazza was paid $1.5 million, composed of $1.1 million in salary and a $410,973 “stipend” for being a medical director at ORNGE. The now adjourned investigating committee at Queen’s Park was told by former ORNGE chairman Rainer Beltzner that Mazza may not have been performing the services of medical director.

In 2011, Mazza was paid a total of $1.9 million, made up of $1.6 million in salary to be president of both the non-profit ORNGE and a series of for-profit ORNGE companies, plus a medical director stipend of $304,992.

Dr Chris Mazza

Mazza’s two-year total was $3.4 million. However, in those two years he also received a $250,000 cash advance on a future bonus he was to be paid for securing investors. No investors were ever secured. He also received two housing loans totalling $950,000, used to purchase and rebuild an Etobicoke home. Records show that in 2011 Mazza made six loan payments, totalling $7,500.

Before 2010, it appears Mazza’s annual earnings were roughly $600,000 to $800,000. That was made up of a medical stipend, plus his salary and bonus. The last time Mazza’s name was on the provincial Sunshine List was 2007, when his salary was listed as $298,000. It appears that was just his CEO/president salary. Records show that he was also paid a $331,000 medical director stipend that year.

In addition to these payments, Mazza may have received money to do some sort of work for Mount Sinai hospital, which is investigating. Mazza also claimed hundreds of thousands of dollarsof expenses, including two ski trips described as “continuing medical education.”

ORNGE Air Ambulance Helicopter

Health Minister Deb Matthews said the information the Star obtained “begs questions similar to those that have arisen already about Chris Mazza’s tenure and the adequacy of the oversight provided by the previous board of directors.” Matthews said the “former ORNGE regime avoided transparency, and demonstrated a true lack of regard for both patients and taxpayers.”

Former board chair Beltzner said: “I trust the OPP is looking into these payments as well and will have the more complete access to information to get to the bottom of this.”

Matthews said the police investigation is continuing. OPP Det. Tim Tichnor said he could not talk to the Star to “remain impartial and avoid any conflict of interest.”


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