Alleged Federal kickbacks: Toronto, Brampton mayor addresses investigation

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Mayor of Brampton, Ont., Rick Finn said investigators “were vindicated” on Tuesday when they exonerated six city employees for their role in alleged federal kickbacks. “I stand by them, the councillors, all of the affected employees, the mayors of the five other cities and councillors in Brampton, because there is no evidence to suggest that there has been a federal breach of trust,” he said. “The independent investigation headed by Dan Fitzpatrick has every confidence that there was no crime. The integrity commissioner agrees and we are going forward.” The city said in a news release late on Tuesday that Fitzpatrick, who has also appeared in front of a parliamentary committee, found “no evidence that city staff acted improperly in the rendering of services to the Manatt Companies at the invitation and request of various third parties.” Mr. Fitzpatrick’s findings were sent to the minister of treasury board and were shared with the opposition leader as well as Mr. Finn. Mr. Fitzpatrick found that six city staff are being placed on “protected creditor status,” meaning they will be released from their contracts if the city can’t cover their pay and benefits. They are: city clerk Don McDermott; city engineer Greg Locke; human resources manager Jessica Tomlinson; deputy city clerk Charlie Truchan; engineering technician Robert Fassati; and assistant engineer Stephan Szczepeczuk. Mr. Fitzpatrick wrote that public accounts show that the City of Brampton has an “excellent reputation in the municipal arena and in the national and international arena.” There is “no evidence of improper practices by the City of Brampton and there is no evidence to suggest that public employees were required or took actions to breach the public trust.” Mayor Finn said it was important to reassure Canadians that while the allegations against city workers are disheartening, “this is a city that has our best interests at heart and I take great pride in that.” He also noted that there are “very unfortunate news outlets that are making it their business to take anything and treat it like it’s gospel.” “We are the most crime-free city in Canada, with 554,112 residents in Brampton. The other five communities are all now subject to a public inquiry,” Mayor Finn said.

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