Nova Scotia

Trial for former IWK Health Centre CEO adjourned until November

Tracy Kitch's trial was scheduled to begin in January, but it will now be moved to November.

Change comes as defence lawyers seek more documents from auditor general's office

The trial for former IWK Health Centre CEO Tracy Kitch has been adjourned until November. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

Former IWK CEO Tracy Kitch's fraud trial has been adjourned until November.

Defence lawyers for Kitch and the hospital's former chief financial officer are attempting to get more documents from the Nova Scotia Auditor General's office.

The change for the trial, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 4, was officially made Friday in Nova Scotia provincial court in Halifax.

Lawyers for Kitch and the Crown agreed that the trial cannot begin until the issue between the defence and auditor general's office is settled.

The four-week matter is now scheduled for Nov. 4-Dec. 3, 2021.

Lawyers for Kitch and Stephen D'Arcy are attempting to get two people from the auditor general's office to testify about work they did on a performance audit of the health centre, while lawyers for the auditor general's office are attempting to have those subpoenas quashed.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18 in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to hear arguments.

Tracy Kitch, left, and Stephen D'Arcy. (CBC)

Court documents filed by the auditor general's office note that acting auditor general Terry Spicer and former auditor general Michael Pickup have already testified, and the office has voluntarily turned over more than 2,000 pages of documents to the defence as part of a third-party records application.

"The remaining documents were not disclosed as they are private and confidential documents that the [attorney general's office] is required to keep confidential pursuant to its statutory duties," according to the application for an order to quash the subpoenas.

Neither of the witnesses the defence want to call are likely to provide material evidence, and to allow them to testify "would continue to facilitate a fishing expedition by Kitch and D'Arcy," according to the application.

Jacqueline King, Kitch's lawyer, and Christie Hunter, D'Arcy's lawyer, have said the documents they are seeking are necessary to their case. They argue Spicer and Pickup were unable to provide enough information about the performance audit to allow for a judgment on their records request, which is now scheduled to happen in March.

Stepped down in 2017

D'Arcy and Kitch stepped down from their jobs at the IWK in 2017 following questions about her use of a corporate credit card and his involvement in the matter.

A report by Grant Thornton ordered by the IWK board at the time showed Kitch expensed $47,000 in personal charges to the hospital. She repaid all of it.

D'Arcy repaid about $17,000 in expenses before leaving his post.

Following the Grant Thornton report, the then-board chair called in the police and auditor general's office.

Kitch faces charges of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust. D'Arcy, whose trial is scheduled for June, is charged with breach of trust, unauthorized use of a computer and mischief to data.