01/04/2013 10:43 EST | Updated 03/06/2013 05:12 EST

Rossland mayor grilled about alleged conflict of interest

About 60 residents of Rossland, B.C., grilled their mayor for two hours last night about a former city building inspector who billed the municipality for $185,000 in contract work while he was still working for the city.

Documents show ADA Contracting, which is run by the town’s former building inspector Jason Ward, billed Rossland 24 times over a one-year period for work on the local arena and curling rink.

Ward himself often approved the work, which was paid through an outside company he set up.

At Thursday’s public meeting, some residents called for an investigation into the alleged conflict of interest.

“Why wasn't this submitted to the RCMP for potential fraud?” one Rossland resident asked.

But Mayor Greg Granstrom says there is no proof of any illegal activity.

“We have no evidence of anything illegal. If you're talking about the process itself, it was less than perfect,” he said.

“The remedy is he is no longer in our employ. So the next thing we look at is: ‘Is there any harm to the city? Did the city lose money? Did anybody steal anything?’ The answer to that is no.”

Ward resigned from the city and went to work for an engineering company, which won the contract to manage a $5-million overhaul of Rossland’s main street, Columbia Avenue.

He has not responded to interview requests from CBC News.