The City of Winnipeg is investigating whether one of its employees is potentially in a conflict of interest as a result of his alleged role in a set of questionable building plans.

Altered blueprints

Tonight on CBC News starting at 5 p.m., hear from the engineer who says his seal on the blueprints was altered.

Sig Steinhilber, a veteran building inspector who has worked for the city for nearly 30 years, is linked to a company called InterPro Building Design.

Steinhilber insists he hasn't done anything wrong, noting the design company is registered in his wife's name. However, the address of the company is Steinhilber's home and he is listed as the sole contact on a construction website.

InterPro Building Design is in a dispute with a housing company, Hollywood Homes, which the city has accused of falsifying information on building applications for several houses.

The blueprints for these houses carry the engineering stamp of Les Frovich, who has told CBC News that he had nothing to do with those projects.

"I was surprised, you know, just sort of bewilderment. You dont' know where it came from or who used it, or how many time its been used," said Frovich.

"I guess saving money would be the only one. Not paying the engineering fees, or whatever our fees would be, or the drafting fees."


Ari Marantz, president of Canadian Association of Home Inspectors, questions whether an inspector should have any involvement in a design company. (CBC)

The controversy surfaced last week when two sets of Winnipeg homeowners came forward saying they were worried their houses may be demolished due to the dispute between the city and Hollywood Homes.

Arnel Mercado was one of those told the house he had been living in for a year wasn't up to code. He bought it from Hollywood Homes, which said it got the blueprints from a city inspector who moonlights as a designer.

Hollywood Homes blames InterPro for the problem, while Steinhilber told CBC News Hollywood Homes is to blame for the doctored blueprints.

The city is trying to sort it all out.

Coun. Ross Eadie says Steinhilber's apparent connection with InterPro is a problem.

"Even if your direct family, his wife, owns it there is still a direct conflict with his job. Whether or not something happened, it doesn't matter. There's a conflict there," Eadie said.

The city is investigating both the doctored blueprints and determining whether there is a conflict of interest.

Steinhilber says he can't comment any further until the city completes its probe.

The president of Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors, Ari Marantz, questions whether an inspector should have any involvement in a design company.

"How can somebody who is in charge of approving something be selling the same thing to consumers?" he said.