It has long been suspected that there was widespread corruption at Toronto’s City Hall and now those suspicions have proven to be true. A report has revealed that over $500,000 in fraud has been perpetrated by city employees and a police investigation is now underway. The report from Toronto’s Fraud and Waste Hotline has revealed that $260,538 has been lost due to staff wrongdoings and another $297,115 in potential fraud still under investigation. So far only $15,903 has been recovered.
There are nine city staffers involved. They have been accused of having parking tickets cancelled for friends and family, claiming unwarranted overtime, making false claims to the employee benefits plan, using office computers to download porn, stealing city property and cash, using counterfeit passes to take advantage of recreational programming, and altering medical notes for sick leave benefits. The irregularities regarding the employee benefits plan were picked up by Manulife Financial, the city’s insurance administrator.
The nine staff members under investigation have not been identified. They are at home on paid leave awaiting the conclusion of the police investigation. What I find absolutely shocking is that the auditor’s report revealed that an undisclosed number of employees were disciplined last year for false overtime claims, fixing parking tickets, and other fraud. I would like to know what disciplined means exactly. If they were not fired and charged with their crimes, then the city of Toronto should be held responsible. In the meantime if you suspect corruption in City Hall call the Fraud and Waste Hotline at 416-392-STOP (7867).