Sudbury's Chief Administrative Officer said city management should take the blame for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bus fare that didn't end up in city bank accounts. But Doug Nadorozny doesn't believe anyone at city hall should be fired.
"It's a series of failures with our management system, frankly," he said.
"We should have trapped it, we should have caught it."
Nadorozny said city staff did notice that its share of bus ticket sales wasn't being turned in by a private company contracted to sell them at the downtown terminal.
That company was run by Tony Sharma, with whom Nadorozny said the city had a long relationship. Sharma allegedly had a history of not paying up.
Company owed city $866,000
"We would wrestle with him and we'd get a big cheque in and we'd feel comfortable and think, OK, he's gone over before and he's always come back and made good for it," Nadorozny said.
In the end that didn't happen. By the time the city pulled the plug on the contract, Sharma's company owed the city $866,000.
Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said employees who let this happen should lose their jobs.
But Nadorozny said that isn't normally how things work in the public sector.
"These are individuals who come to work every day to do a good job," he said.
"[There are] a lot of people who are very upset about the individual roles they've played and the things they've missed in the pursuit of this."
Sudbury and provincial police are investigating to see if criminal charges should be laid.
Investigators are looking at everyone involved-- including city staff and Tony Sharma, the man who owned the company that ran the transit ticket kiosk.