Toronto

Employee fired as OPP launch investigation over allegations Ministry of Education staffer stole COVID-19 funds

Ontario Provincial Police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that a Ministry of Education employee stole from a COVID-19 relief fund for families. That staffer has been fired, the ministry said in an update.

Unclear how much money taken from fund

The OPP's anti-rackets branch has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that a Ministry of Education employee stole from a COVID-19 relief fund for families. (CBC)

A Ministry of Education employee has been fired as Ontario Provincial Police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations that the staffer stole from a COVID-19 relief fund for families.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt confirmed to CBC News the OPP received a referral from the ministry on the allegations, first reported by The Globe and Mail Thursday evening.

"The investigation is currently active and being conducted by the Anti-Rackets Branch of the OPP," Schmidt said.

"As the investigation is ongoing, we will not comment further to protect the integrity of the investigation. As this is a criminal investigation, we will not speculate as to the likelihood of charges."

The Ministry of Education did not comment on the matter. Instead, it referred CBC News instead to the Ministry of the Attorney General Doug Downey, who confirmed that the employee has been fired. 

In a statement, Downey's office said it has hired an auditing firm to investigate .

"Any abuse of taxpayers dollars is totally unacceptable. The government takes these allegations seriously and has retained KPMG to conduct a thorough investigation and has filed a formal complaint to the OPP who are conducting an investigation."

It's not yet clear how much money was taken from the fund.

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