Manitoba

Sam Katz says he never accepted pay related to police HQ project

Former Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz is responding after allegations surfaced last week that an unnamed city council member accepted money from someone connected to the city's police headquarters project.

Former Winnipeg mayor says allegations reflect poorly on all council members

Former Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz said he never accepted payment in connection with the police headquarters project. (CBC)

Former Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz is responding after allegations surfaced last week that an unnamed city council member accepted money from someone connected to the city's police headquarters project.

"I think it is extremely unfortunate that a statement like that is made, because that basically paints a brush across the board," said Katz. "It would be nice if there was something specific to it, but you know what, like everybody, we will just wait and see."

Katz was reacting to a news story last week in the Winnipeg Free Press detailing allegations of a payment and doctored invoices.

Katz said he never accepted a payment in connection with the project and hopes there can be closure on the matter.

"I think it would be nice for all concerned to bring closure, no question about that," said Katz. "Some of the things that are being thrown around, I think they are very unfortunate, but let's let the review do what it has to do, and hopefully we will have closure once and for all."

The RCMP is currently investigating the headquarters project and other city matters following a request by the Manitoba Department of Justice last summer.

CBC News spoke to a former city employee who said they were interviewed by the RCMP last week in connection with the allegations. Katz, on the other hand, said he has not been contacted by the RCMP nor interviewed by them. 

"If it's true that members of the City of Winnipeg, elected or city employees have been doctoring invoices, if it's true that there've been under the table payments, it is appalling and perhaps it's time that heads should roll," Mayor Brian Bowman said Thursday.

Cost overruns have put the police headquarters project more than $75 million over budget to date.

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