Former IWK chief financial officer repaid almost $17K in expenses before quitting

The former hospital chief financial officer paid back the bulk of his expenses incurred during his tenure, hospital spokesperson Nick Cox told CBC News.

Stephen D'Arcy reimbursed almost all his expenses just weeks before stepping down

Former IWK Health Centre chief financial officer Stephen D'Arcy repaid the hospital almost $17,000 in expenses just weeks before stepping down from his job. (CBC)

The former chief financial officer of the IWK Health Centre reimbursed the hospital for almost $17,000 in expenses just weeks before he stepped down from his job amidst an expense scandal that cost the hospital's CEO her job as well.

Part of that information is contained in the most recent public disclosure reports for executives posted on the hospital's website.

The entry for Stephen D'Arcy, who stepped down from his post on Sept. 25, 2017, notes he reimbursed the hospital for almost $1,900 in expenses for the first two quarters of the last fiscal year.

Hospital spokesperson Nick Cox said in total, D'Arcy repaid $16,753.30 in a series of five cheques, from Aug. 22 to early September. Of that money, $4,082.70 was related to a future conference and course D'Arcy was registered for but did not attend.

The expenses he repaid are related almost entirely to travel for meetings and conferences. There were also charges for things such as magazine subscriptions ($846.03), toner cartridges ($412.08), cellphone use ($493.37) and office supplies ($562.53).

"Mr. D'Arcy effectively reimbursed the IWK for all travel and hospitality incurred during his tenure except for some transportation costs for his Toronto trips, accommodations for a CPA conference, local cabs and a few hospitality meals that were direct billed or charged as internal catering," Cox said in an email to CBC News.

D'Arcy's first cheque to the hospital was written the day before former hospital CEO Tracy Kitch stepped down from her post. That move followed a CBC News report showing Kitch charged thousands of dollars in personal expenses to a corporate credit card. An internal report released a week later by the hospital pegged that total at $47,000.

D'Arcy took a paid leave from his duties at the IWK on Sept. 11. A week later, CBC News reported D'Arcy helped alter Kitch's expense reports and removed items from freedom of information requests that should have been released.

The IWK's board chair then turned the matter of Kitch's expenses over to Halifax Regional Police and also requested the help of the province's auditor general.

Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup then announced his office would investigate the hospital's books and practices. That investigation remains ongoing with a report due sometime in the fall.

Cox said D'Arcy's decision to reimburse the money was completely voluntary. He said it would be up to the former hospital executive to explain the decision to make the repayments.

"At no point was Mr. D'Arcy asked to repay any of his travel and hospitality expenses," Cox said via email. He added that Pickup's team is aware of D'Arcy's reimbursements.

D'Arcy, who is now the chief financial officer for the Power Workers' Union in Ontario, could not be reached for comment.

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Michael Gorman

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Michael Gorman is a reporter in Nova Scotia who covers Province House, rural communities, and everything in between. Contact him with story ideas at michael.gorman@cbc.ca