The CEO of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is under fire from the city’s auditor-general, who alleges Dan Brambilla filed improper expenses including travel and meals for his wife, and for half the meals he ate in the city-owned theatre’s own cafeteria.
Auditor General Jeff Griffiths also said, in a report filed Wednesday, that Brambilla’s own company charged more than $500,000 to the Sony Centre, which is under the microscope for cost over-runs connected to its ongoing renovations.
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Griffiths released a scathing report on those renovations in April, stating that contracts for the $28-million project were awarded without competition, and that many agreements lacked the appropriate paperwork.
The centre’s board of directors resigned earlier this month, heading off an expected dismissal from the city.
Griffiths had told council he’d found a lot of other alleged misdeeds at the 3,000-seat venue, leading into today’s closer look at Brambilla.
Brambilla said he expensed the cafeteria meals because he was conducting quality testing.
The report stands to raise the ire of city councillors and further strain their relationship with the Sony Centre.
“I am upset to hear this, that he was able to do this, that there wasn't proper oversight or scrutiny,” said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
“It's just plain wrong … it is worst type of practice in government, and we should do everything we can to try and stop that type of activity.”
Council met in private Wednesday to discuss what should be done at Sony Centre, who should sit on the board, and how to finish its renovations.