New audit into former Sudbury CAS director finds thousands in "unreasonable" expenses
Internal government audit follows auditor general report on $90K hotel bill
A new audit has found more questionable expenses racked up by the former head of the Sudbury Children's Aid Society.
Colette Prevost's $90,000 hotel bill was highlighted by the provincial auditor general in a report last year.
Now a second audit, done for the Ministry of Child and Youth Services this spring, is suggesting even more public dollars may have been misspent.
The report, released this week, looks at expenses and financial reporting in the entire organization.
It points to $106,737.38 in expenses filed between 2013 and 2015 deemed to be "unreasonable" and $123,369 where there was a lack of documentation. Officials at Sudbury CAS said about 90 per cent of those claims came from Prevost.
The audit also notes that Prevost put in 647 expense claims totaling $131,974 where "a valid business purpose was not documented."
"We want to pin down whether there's anything we should be worried about," he said, adding the audit is expected to be complete sometime next month.
Thomson said one of the hardest things about the last year is how it has distracted the organization and its new executive director, Elaina Groves, "who was really hired to start the agency forward, (but) has been consumed by basically trying to fix the mistakes of her predecessor."
Groves said she has tightened up how money is spent and tracked at children's aid, including a double sign-off system for expenses, developing a whistleblower policy and new training for staff and board members.
Prevost left Sudbury to be the executive director of the children's aid society in York Region, but is currently on a personal leave of absence.
She told CBC in an e-mail that she doesn't take these accusations lightly and has been open to answering questions from auditors.
Prevost has already paid back $5,896 for expenses she said "were viewed as potentially outside agency policy." The Sudbury CAS says those expenses included laundry bills, the costs for moving to her new job in Toronto and travel for her position on a board not related to her job in Sudbury.