Brampton’s audit committee was recently made aware of a million dollar secretive fund via report. Police are being asked to investigate following the discovery of a secret $1.25M staff fund that was given to non-union staff without the council’s knowledge. Brampton councilor John Sprovieri leads the demand for a policed investigation.
Brampton councilors and residents are asking the police to immediately investigate a secretive program that were authorized by senior staffers. The fraudulent program has been paying non-union employees without the council’s knowledge since 2009. The total amount paid has reached $1.25M.
Regional Councillor John Sprovieri was quoted saying that this issue has turned the whole administration in Brampton into a joke. The report shared that the fraudulent payments were made to 167 non-union city employees as discretionary salary increases that included bonuses made for simply favouring a certain employee. The payments were made between the first of January 2009 to the fourteenth of May 2014.
In an interview given by Sprovieri a few weeks ago, he said that these payments were not authorized by the council and that they were given without proper approvals. He added that the practice is no better than taking money from the cash register when no one is looking.
Brampton Sounds the Alarm
The news made headlines in Brampton the week it was released. Taxpayers took to social media and flooding the Brampton Guardian with calls demanding that the police launch a probe to find answers.
Councillor Sprovieri joined the cry and said that whoever was responsible should be brought to justice. He also said that he would be seeking the council’s help to get assistance from a police force outside Peel to ensure that there would be no conflict of interest in the investigation.
The information regarding the fraud was relayed to councillors in June via an audit report. The report shared that payments were made to individual staff ranging from $123 to more than $95,000. 8 employees received a total of $316,000.
Brampton’s auditors made the report stating that the bonuses were not authorized under relevant rules at the time they were handed out. They also added that on later instances, the bonuses and payments were given without due reason given. They said that this is an indication that the OPR practice was being mismanaged. The report also noted that one of the top 10 reasons given to allow the reported payments and bonuses was favouritism, a fact that wasn’t shared with the council or the public.
Mayor Linda Jeffrey made a move to have non-city auditors look into the city’s finances after the report was released. She also suggested that Brampton should have a permanent auditor general that works independent of the city’s officials. She called the incidence as either a case of negligence or a case of corruption and added that the city should get answers. Taxpayers agree.
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