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     September 2012        
                 
 

 

Released - September 03, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Tag # 592

Director, Water Wastewater Services, City of Greater Sudbury (corporation) reimbursed $ 36,120.93 as expenses from tax dollars 

A Freedom of information request was filed to obtain the expense account belonging to the Director of Water/Wastewater Services, three other employees in the same division and one employee of Human Resources and Organizational Development. The city’s clerk office denied access to this information. This matter was appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. The city’s clerk office repeatedly denied access and therefore legal proceedings have begun. We successfully defended our action and the matter was forwarded for mediation. Finally, the city’s clerk office released the total amount of expenses to this account belonging to the Director of Water/Wastewater Services but we were not able to obtain the full breakdown of this total expense and how specifically these tax dollars were spent. The city’s clerk office identified that about 550 records pertained to this account.

Controversial Expense account:
Director of Water/Wastewater Services reimbursed from tax dollars $ 36,120.96 from 2005 to 2011. Highest amount reimbursed was in 2007 totalling $ 8,597.76.

Details are as follows:

 2005- $ 3,067.59

 2006- $ 6,097.42

 2007- $ 8,597.76

 2008- $ 4,815.16

 2009- $ 6,089.46

 2010- $ 2,636.29

 2011- $ 4,817.28

Total: $ 36,120.96

The city’s clerk office failed to provide a specific breakdown of how tax dollars were spent by the Director of Water/Wastewater Services. WikiLeaks Sudbury is demanding a public inquiry into the expense account belonging to the director of the Water/Wastewater division and a specification of each and every bill concerned with this account. The City of Greater Sudbury taxpayers have the right to know how their tax dollars were spent.

The following three staff members; Director, Supervisor 111, Plants and Supervisor Plant 11 (Wanapitei) of Water and Wastewater division were reimbursed total amount of $ 46,866.13 from 2005 to 2011.

Their spending habits raised concerns. They forgot to maintain the transparency about specifically where the taxpayers money was being spent.  Therefore, this denial of access to the specific expense components of this account sparked controversy. The city clerk office’s arguments are concerning because they keep this important public information under a veil of secrecy.  

Recently, Minister Bev Oda from the International Co-operation's decision to leave her office appeared to have been influenced by the bad press surrounding her spending habits. She sparked a controversy last summer over the travel expenses she claimed for a spring trip to London (UK). Oda felt compelled to pay back taxpayers some of the expenses for this trip once details such as  the glass of Orange juice which cost  $16, were revealed to the public.

The Director of Water and Wastewater is compensated with a salary of over $100,000.00 and additional benefits of $5,000.00.

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 makes Ontario's public sector more open and accountable to all taxpayers. The act requires organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year. The salary disclosure details are as follows:

Nick Benkovich, Director, Water/Wastewater Services, City of Greater Sudbury
 
These disclosures do not include the expense accounts in question.

Disclosure 2006 – Salary $106,952.00: Benefits $4,953.00, Total: $ 111,905.00

Disclosure 2007 - Salary $111,622.00: Benefits $4,942.49, Total: $ 116,564.49

Disclosure 2008 - Salary $114,359.48: Benefits $4,865.49, Total: $ 119,224.97

Disclosure 2009 - Salary $118,400.49: Benefits $5,454.54, Total: $ 123,855.03

Disclosure 2010 - Salary $120,986.52: Benefits $5,340.96, Total: $ 126,327.48

Disclosure 2011 - Salary $125,353.79: Benefits $5,301.18, Total: $ 130,654.97

Total increase from 2006  – 16.75%

Related documents:
1-1 City Clerk office refused to access expense account
1-2 City Clerk Office provide revised decision and denied access to expense accounts
1-3 City Clerk Office Released of Expense account
1-4 Acknowledgement of Appeal to Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-5 Mediator’s Report of Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-6 Legal arguments and representation  

Released - September 04, 2012 at 11:45 AM EDT
Tag # 601

Supervisor 111, Water Plants, City of Greater Sudbury (corporation), claimed $ 8,505.69 as expenses from tax dollars  

A Freedom of Information request was filed to access the expense account belonging to Supervisor 111, Water Plant of City of Greater Sudbury. The city clerk's office repeatedly denied access to this expense account belonging to Supervisor 111, Water plant. This matter was appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and legal proceedings were commenced. Finally, this matter was mediated and the total amount of expense charges to this account  was released.

Controversial Expense Account:

The Supervisor 111-Water Plants does not hesitate to follow the director’s path and claimed $8,505.69. The highest amount reimbursed was in the year 2010 totalling $ 4,779.25

Supervisor 111 Water Plant is also compensated with over $ 100,000.00 as annual salary.

However, the City's Clerk office also refused to release details of this supervisor’s expense account. WikiLeaks Sudbury is demanding public inquiry of expense account belonging to Supervisor 111, Water Plant. His spending habits also must be open to public scrutiny of all tax payers.  

Sudburians already pay some of the highest water and wastewater rates in the province. It tends to be a regular practice to increase water rates every year in Sudbury.   

Recently, Minister Bev Oda of the International Co-operation's  decision to leave her office appeared to have been influenced by the bad press surrounding her spending habits. She sparked a controversy last summer over the travel expenses she claimed for a spring trip to London (UK).  Oda felt compelled to pay back taxpayers some of the expenses for this trip once details such as  the glass of Orange juice which cost  $16, were revealed to the public. 

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 makes Ontario's public sector more open and accountable to taxpayers. The act requires organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year. The salary disclosure details are as follows:

Gary Comin, Supervisor 111, Water Plan, Water and Wastewater Services
 

These disclosures are in addition to the expense account in question. 

Disclosure 2008 – Salary $103,133.37: Benefits $936.08, Total: $ 104,069.45

Disclosure 2009 – Salary $105,595.86: Benefits $915.85, Total: $ 106,511.71

Disclosure 2010 – Salary $105,543.51: Benefits $813.70, Total: $ 106,357.21

Disclosure 2011 – Salary $108,572.34: Benefits $811.50, Total: $ 109,383.84

Related documents:
1-1 City Clerk office refused to access expense account
1-2 City Clerk Office provide revised decision and denied access to expense accounts
1-3 City Clerk Office Released of Expense account
1-4 Acknowledgement of Appeal to Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-5 Mediator’s Report of Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-6 Legal arguments and representation  

 

Released - September 08, 2012 at 3:00 PM EDT
Tag #: 603

The Supervisor 11 Water Plant (Wanapitei), City of Greater Sudbury claimed $ 2,239.48 as expenses from tax dollars.

Supervisor 11 Water Plant (Wanapitei) is a new addition to Water and Wastewater Services.

Supervisor 11 Water Plant (Wanapitei) reimbursed $ 2,239.48 tax dollars following his director’s path. A Freedom of information request was filed to access the expense account belonging to Supervisor 11 Water (Wanapitei). The city’s clerk office denied access to this information. This matter was then appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act. Finally, this matter was settled in mediation and the mediator ordered to city to release this information.

We have a total amount reimbursed but the breakdown of specifically where these tax dollars were spent was not identified.  His expenses reached within two years a total of $2,239.48.  WikiLeaks Sudbury demands a public inquiry to expose the specific details of this expense account.

Recently, Minister Bev Oda of the International Co-operation's  decision to leave her office appeared to have been influenced by the bad press surrounding her spending habits. She sparked a controversy last summer over the travel expenses she claimed for a spring trip to London (UK).  Oda felt compelled to pay back taxpayers some of the expenses for this trip once details such as  the glass of Orange juice which cost  $16, were revealed to the public. 

We find that the Water/Wastewater director’s and supervisors’ spending habits continue to spark controversy due to the denial of transparency concerning all the expenses claimed from tax dollars.

Drew Peloquin is the Supervisor 11 Water (Wanapitei Plant), Water/Wastewater Services City of Greater Sudbury.

Related documents:
1-1 City Clerk office refused to access expense account
1-2 City Clerk Office provide revised decision and denied access to expense accounts
1-3 City Clerk Office Released of Expense account
1-4 Acknowledgement of Appeal to Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-5 Mediator’s Report of Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario
1-6 Legal arguments and representation  

 


 
             
     

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