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Brampton mayor Linda Jeffrey calls for new spending review

12/01/2014 10:54 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
Brampton’s new mayor Linda Jeffrey, fresh from trouncing her controversial predecessor Susan Fennell, is asking former Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter to do another review of the city’s books.

Jeffrey announced her new plan to review how the city spends, and has spent, money at her swearing-in ceremony on Monday night. Former Ontario Premier Bill Davis administered her oath of office.

"I hope to be able to drop the baggage of the past," she said during her first remarks as mayor.

"It is my ultimate goal that in the future Brampton becomes a model of municipal governance in the province."

Jeffrey, a former provincial cabinet minister, resigned from Queen’s Park to take on Fennell as the spending scandal broke and cruised to victory on Oct. 27.

Now, she wants a deeper review than the forensic audit, done by accounting firm Deloitte, which found Fennell broke municipal expense rules while buying business-class flights, premium hotel rooms and cellphone IQ quizzes.

In total, the Deloitte report said, more than $131,000 in expenses made by Fennell and her staff went against city rules. 

At the time, Fennell said she accepted much of the report but not all of it. Later, an arbitrator knocked down the amount of money she was required to repay the city to $3,522.97, something Fennell said vindicated her.

Jeffrey also repeated a vow to cut her salary — currently the most of any mayor in Canada — to the level of an Ontario cabinet minister. 

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