Police are investigating after a City of Edmonton audit found that more than $1 million was allegedly stolen by a municipal worker with a side business in traffic sign rentals.
A report says the city manager’s office received an email last September claiming the employee was renting out signs and had directed work to a private company for personal gain.
The allegation was forwarded to the city auditor for review.
That investigation concluded that about $1.6 million was taken from the city between 2015 and 2019.
The city was able to stop payment on another $200,000.
The report alleges a false invoicing scheme was used to take advantage of control weaknesses in the city’s procurements and payments.
Officials say financial oversight and controls must be strengthened.
“Funds have been taken from the hands of taxpayers,” said Mary Persson, the city’s deputy manager of finances, in a release on Wednesday.
“Investigations into this action are ongoing and we are hopeful those who committed the alleged fraud will be brought to justice.”
The auditor’s office reported the theft to Edmonton police, which told the office in March that it had started an investigation.
The city says it’s working with its insurance company to recover the funds.
© The Canadian Press