Halifax police launch investigation in wake of IWK expense scandal
Police involvement follows announcement by Nova Scotia auditor general that he will dig into hospital books
Halifax police say they will launch an investigation into financial practices at the IWK Health Centre, after former hospital CEO Tracy Kitch was found to have expensed thousands of dollars in personal charges to the hospital.
On Tuesday, Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup announced his office would also audit the IWK's books, and said the hospital has agreed to turn over information about Kitch's expenses to the police.
On Thursday, a Halifax Regional Police spokesperson said in an email that the force had received a complaint Wednesday night "regarding possible financial mismanagement within the IWK Health Centre."
Const. Dianne Penfound said the complaint will be reviewed by the financial crime unit and the investigation will likely take some time. She said police will not comment at this point about the specifics of the case or potential suspects.
Auditor general 'gravely concerned'
The auditor general said he was "gravely concerned" about a "lack of rigour in financial management" at the region's largest children's hospital. However, he said it is beyond the capabilities of his office to determine whether anything surrounding the expenses was a criminal act.
Pickup said that's why the decision was made to turn the information over to police.
CBC News first reported in June about inconsistencies with Kitch's expenses. A CBC News investigation found thousands of dollars of personal expenses were charged to a corporate credit card in Kitch's name.
Kitch resigned from her post in August, a week before the release of a report by auditing firm Grant Thornton that showed she expensed $47,000 in personal charges to the hospital in almost three years.
Hospital CFO Stephen D'Arcy subsequently went on paid leave.