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TNRD sends 'financial irregularities' to RCMP for review

March 26, 2021 - 1:42 PM

The upcoming TNRD financial audit remains in the planning phase, but separately, there is now potential for an RCMP investigation.

"Information concerning potential financial irregularities has been forwarded to the RCMP," Thompson-Nicola Regional District chief administrative officer, Scott Hildebrand, said in a statement issued to media today, March 26.

It is not confirmed whether the RCMP will go ahead with the investigation, but Hildebrand says the upcoming audit will remain independent and separate from police operations.

READ MORE: Board approves up to $75K for third-party audit of TNRD spending

"The TNRD cannot make further comments regarding this RCMP matter or any other criminal investigation," Hildebrand said.

The potential investigation and independent audit are part of the fallout that came after a year-long investigation by KTW. The investigation started after former CAO Sukh Gill departed from the regional district suddenly last year. 

A thorough investigation and itemization of spending habits shows lavish spending on events, hospitality and liquor.

As a result of the publication and public scrutiny, the regional district has put out a request for proposals for an upcoming third-party audit to address spending practices by district employees.

That request is found on B.C. Bid and lays out the scope of the audit. The scope of the review as written by the regional district is left broad so potential auditors can add further details and suggestions.

READ MORE: It shouldn’t have been so hard to track wasteful spending at TNRD

The regional district is specifically requesting a review of all director expenses and their reporting from 2015 to 2020, an examination of "financial controls and approval systems," a review of contracting and purchasing practices and, lastly, to identify where current policies and processes can be improved.

The estimated cost of the audit will be somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000. The proposals will close for submissions on April 12.

READ MORE: TNRD spending isn't the real issue

"Last week, the Kamloops RCMP Detachment was contacted by members representing the interest of the (regional district), who presented information they believed to be associated with criminality. Police are assessing that information as part of their investigation," media relations officer Const. Crystal Evelyn said in a statement issued, March 29.

Police said in the statement that they will not be releasing any more information "until a conclusion is determined."

— This story was updated at 11:29 a.m. Monday, March 29, 2021, to include a statement from Kamloops RCMP.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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