More Financial irregularities: city-owned utility has millions unaccounted for, two city employees received ten times the normal payout for their resignation, and now a trio of councillors are being investigated for alleged code of conduct violations.
The fallout of financial irregularities continues in the city of Chestermere, Alta., immediately east of Calgary.
The city-owned utility had millions go unaccounted for from their books.
Two city employees received ten times the normal payout for their resignation.
And now a trio of councillors are being investigated for alleged code of conduct violations.
A third-party investigator has been hired to look at a trio of potential violations: a Facebook post from Coun. Ritesh Narayan, a letter posted in the Chestermere Anchor by councillors Narayan, Shannon Dean and Sandy Johal-Watt, and the documents apparently released by the same trio.
“We’re looking into that with a third party investigator to determine if the information that was presented was correct or incorrect,” Mayor Jeff Colvin told Global News.
That trio of councillors was the same trio that voted against investigations into Chestermere Utilities Inc. (CUI), a corporation created in 2010 to exist outside city operations and oversight.
Six years ago, a petition with 5,400 signatures – nearly the entire voting population of Chestermere – was presented to city council urging them to investigate CUI.
Chestermere is in the process of dissolving the corporation and reincorporating it back into the city’s organization.
“Financial irregularities” over a decade were discovered by staff while preparing for a public hearing on the dissolution of the utility company.
The irregularities included city transactions shown as city expenses, around $4.2 million in missing earnings, and $9.2 million in lost equities from 2017 to 2020, among other unaccounted-for funds
Nearly $600,000 in employee pay-out packages raised alarms in Chestermere last week, and the city is investigating how the “unusual” employee severances were given to two former staff members who resigned. A press release from the city on July 26 said the amounts – around $400,000 and $200,000 each – were in violation of the city’s policy to approve any payments over $75,000. Under the Alberta Employment Standard Code, the employees were entitled to two weeks’ pay, totalling around $56,000.
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