OPP, province investigating Town of Amherstburg finances

The OPP has agreed to investigate the Town of Amherstburg's finances.
For the first time this year, tornado sirens were activated in Amherstburg. Fire chief Randy Sinasac made the decision to turn them on around 5:30 p.m. Monday. (CBC News)

The OPP has agreed to investigate the Town of Amherstburg's finances.

In December, Amherstburg Police Chief Tim Berthiaume requested the OPP conduct an investigation into possible wrongdoing with the financial affairs of the Town of Amherstburg.

Berthiaume contacted the OPP to step in "to avoid any conflict of interest issues or any possible perceived conflict of interest issues," the Amherstburg police said in a news release.

According to Amherstburg police, the OPP will report back to the appropriate authorities once the investigation is complete.

Ontario's Ministry of Municipal Affairs is also being asked to audit Amherstburg's finances.

The motion passed unanimously Monday night after Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland said he talked to ministry officials.

Sutherland said he was told by the ministry it would conduct audit only if council passed a motion making the request.

Amherstburg is in major debt. Sutherland said the financial numbers keep changing but most recently the administration listed the town's debt load at $38 million.

"Somehow, we have to get through it and find out why this took place," Sutherland said. "There isn't a penny left, nothing."