NEWS

Alleged conflict of interest probed in Rossland, B.C.

01/03/2013 12:22 EST | Updated 03/05/2013 05:12 EST
Some residents of Rossland, B.C., want to know why a company set up by the city’s former building inspector was allowed to bill the city $185,000 for contract work.

Documents show ADA Contracting billed Rossland 24 times over a one-year period for work on the local arena and curling rink. Most of the work was untendered.

ADA is run by the town's then-building inspector Jason Ward.

“That's a total conflict of interest,” said Coun. Kathy Moore.

“There were specific things in his contract he violated. One of them is he's not allowed to work for the city himself or a company he owned or had an interest in. That's just wrong.”

Moore says her concerns were brushed off when she brought the issue to the attention of the mayor and city staff.

“We're the stewards of the public purse,” she told CBC News. “We're supposed to be looking out for these things and to me, these things were just violation after violation.”

Mayor Greg Granstrom won't comment specifically on ADA's billings.

“The issue itself is the project, and from the city’s perspective the project was completed and it's a wonderful project for sure,” he said.

Granstrom is slated to attend a public meeting in Rossland Thursday evening to address residents’ concerns.

Ward, who resigned as the city’s building inspector in 2011 soon after the arena work was done, did not return phone calls from CBC News.

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