Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scandal At Nanaimo City Hall??

Accusations Of Fraudulent Spending

Just in time for the local elections, it would appear that perhaps Nanaimo has it's own 'deep throat', based on an item posted on the local daily's online website.

An anonymous poster made some very serious accusations about how 'unreported amounts of spending' that does not require reporting or auditing of single expenditures by city managers was the source of fraudulently spending a few million dollars worth of things that were just under $25,000.00.

The post has since been taken down by the local daily, but was up for a couple of days, and I was able to make a copy of it. Since it is election time you might suspect some foul play if this were aimed at city councillors running for office, but it squarely accuses city managers of using loopholes in the system which allows them to approve expenditures without councils oversight.

The anonymous post has an 'air' of truth to it, and sounds like it could very well been submitted by someone who does know what they are talking about, rather than just another political enemy. It could of course simply be a Nanaimo crank.

If you watch what is going on at city hall, there seems to be a constant struggle for control between city hall managers and those few councilors who would like to exercise more council oversight.

In light of these recent allegations I think it would be incumbent on a new city council to initiate an internal forensic audit which would clear up once and for all these serious allegations. For those of you who say that such larceny isn't possible in our sweet little town, I offer the following.

When I moved to Penticton in 1967 the scandal there which made national headlines was the fact that a lowly clerk at the local Royal Bank had been able to swindle nearly half a million dollars from the bank over a period of about five years. When that story broke the immediate question was 'how in the world could a clerk steal half a million dollars over a five year period from an institution like the Royal Bank?'.

Such an audit would hopefully show that one and all are as pure and white as the newly driven snow. In any case, such audits from time to time are simply good practice, given the number of dollars flowing through city hall on an annual basis.

One question which I have always wondered was what kind of audit is conducted by the city auditors every year? Are they looking for misappropriation of funds or simply interested in making sure the balance sheet balances??

If the author of the post on the Daily News site reads this article I would very much like to hear from you, and you can rest assured your identity would remain anonymous. I can be emailed at or by phone at 250-668-6505


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