City going 'far and wide' with property inspector investigation: CAO
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 10:10AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:34PM CST
The City of Winnipeg says it's working diligently to find out if allegations against Winnipeg property inspectors are true.
"We are going far and wide in terms of interviews, we're almost complete those interviews, we'll sit down and look at the evidence gained from that,” said Doug McNeil, City of Winnipeg CAO.
Nearly two weeks ago the city launched an internal probe into allegations from a private investigator, claiming city inspectors were caught on video doing personal activities during work hours.
McNeil says the city is conducting dozens of interviews with employees asking more than a dozen detailed questions as well as follow up interviews if needed. McNeil also suggests the city might look at employee cell phones and contact clients to see what work was being done and when.
"We're going to look at whatever data is available to us to either substantiate or corroborate the information that was provided by the employees,” said McNeil.
When the city's probe is done, councillors are pushing to make the conclusions public within 30 days.
"I think a report coming forward will help us understand what's gone wrong, if the allegations are true," said Janice Lukes, councillor for Waverley West.
The mayor's executive policy committee passed a motion from Lukes to provide the findings to city council.
"Council can have an understanding and ultimately the public can have an understanding of what the results of that investigation are," said finance committee chair Scott Gillingham.
The city's investigation may be at a disadvantage. The group that hired the private investigator is not turning over its videos and other evidence to the city, unless an independent inquiry is called.
Mayor Brian Bowman suggests the group could turn to Manitoba's Ombudsman if it doesn't want to hand over the materials to the city.
"It does provide anonymity, it is an independent third party organization, the ombudsman's office, that also has significant powers to investigate, their investigation could ultimately expand to other areas,” said Bowman.