Nova Scotia

Halifax concert cash inquiry needed: councillor

A Halifax regional councillor is calling for a public inquiry into the cash-for-concerts controversy rocking City Hall.

A Halifax regional councillor is calling for a public inquiry into the cash-for-concerts controversy rocking City Hall.

Tim Outhit said he dismissed the idea of a police investigation after consulting with Halifax Regional Police and RCMP.

"I think it's unlikely that criminal charges would be laid. But for those who still have questions, I think there should be an open discussion," he said.

The municipality's auditor general looked into a series of improper payments to a concert promoter and concluded that Mayor Peter Kelly and Wayne Anstey, the city's former chief administrative officer, didn't flag concerns.

The deal ended up costing the municipality nearly $360,000.

Council didn't debate the report when they got it last week. Instead, it was referred directly to the chief administrative officer and the audit and finance committee.

That's not good enough for councillors who are getting an earful from their constituents.

"Residents are angry and they've lost faith in the mayor and many of them are demanding his resignation," said Coun. Debbie Hum.

Hum said the matter should be turned over to police. Councillors Sue Uteck, Brad Johns and David Hendsbee told CBC News they all agree.

Councillors Steve Streatch and Gloria McCluskey both said no.

The mayor didn't respond to an email from CBC.

Auditor General Larry Munroe has said that he's seeking independent legal advice. As of Monday, neither Halifax Regional Police nor the RCMP had received a formal complaint.

No matter what happens at council on Tuesday, there will be some debate on the matter when the audit and finance committee meets on Wednesday.

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