North Glengarry has fired tax collector Sandra Cameron as an investigation into tax bill discrepancies continues.
The Ontario Provincial Police has been contacted, says the municipality which has since January been investigating and correcting several tax account errors.
The Township commissioned a forensic investigation that was conducted by Deloitte LLP. That investigation is ongoing but an interim report was recently received. The report confirmed the nature and scale of transactions which, in the township’s view, "violated municipal policies and practices. In accordance with the Township’s insurance policy, the Ontario Provincial Police has been contacted."
Discrepancies first appeared in January when the interim tax bills were produced. Township staff, with assistance from specialized auditors, have been making corrections to individual accounts ever since. The discrepancies typically relate to the manner in which payments, penalties and interest were applied and reported.
No further details are available at this time.
A 64-year-old North Glengarry man is to appear in Alexandria court June 7 to face a charge of invitation to sexual touching.
Robert Leroux was arrested May 15 by Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police officers who responded to a report that a man on Derby Street had attempted to lure two girls.
No contact or injuries resulted.
North Glengarry CAO Daniel Gagnon suspects that fraudulent actions may be the cause of problems with the township’s tax billing system. Since January, North Glengarry has heard from dozens of residents complaining about unusually high tax bills. At first, the municipality believed it was an internal error and hired an accounting firm to get to the bottom of the matter.
“With the help of the auditors, we suspect that fraud may be involved,” Mr. Gagnon says.“Council will hire some forensic auditors.”
Details in the March 29 edition of The News.
“We feel it is time to begin a conversation about the place of forests and trees in North Glengarry,” says a group of concerned citizens hoping to convince the township to enact a forest conservation bylaw.
The group, who will present its proposal at the March 27 council meeting, suggests the municipality adopt a temporary bylaw that would require anyone clear-cutting more than three acres or felling trees within 20 metres of any waterway to get a permit from the township.
Details in the March 22 edition of The News.
The Township of North Glengarry has issued this update:
"Investigations are ongoing with the assistance of the township’s auditors into inconsistencies in the status of some tax accounts related to the manner in which payments and interest were applied and reported. The Township CAO (Daniel Gagnon) notes that, “It is too early to speculate on the root causes but I can confirm that any errors found will be corrected and adjustments made accordingly to the required accounts.”
A special Council meeting is being held on Monday, February 13th at 4:00 pm in the Sandfield Centre to brief Council and review some of the legal and procedural options open to Council and staff for managing the corrections needed. The Township regrets any inconvenience caused by these inconsistencies and will continue to update the public on a regular basis."