Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sickening..this One Is...

Police probe handicapped agency theft...

Public Guardian official fired, OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) investigates money missing from handicapped client.

Attorney General Michael Byrant (file photo), said today that a Public Servant was terminated and under police investigation for misappropriation of funds entrusted...

Police probe handicapped agency theft...
Public Guardian official fired, OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) investigates money missing from handicapped client.

This is unbelievable.. A client Representative of the Public Guardian Trustee since l995 went on vacation on May and a colleague took over her files and found out anomalies regarding the management of funds of one of her clients, a Mentally Handicapped.

Ontario Attorney General Michael Brant said that there was misappropriation of funds, a significant amount of funds but decline to give the amount and added " the very idea that someone entrusted that trust violate that trust is SICKENING".

The internal Probe started in May upon discovery and the public servant was suspended pending preliminary report. She was terminated Thursday and the Police taking over the Criminal Investigation. She can not be named for Privacy reasons as she has not been charged in proper court yet. As always presumption of innocence is a constitutional right and until a person is charged, he or she can not be named and even if charged he or she can not be presented to the the Media or images published unless for public interest (like for asking for more witnesses, the image of the accused maybe necessary) or an accused is at large. For minor, a court permission is necessary..

Opposition parties yesterday blamed the Liberals for not having proper safeguards in place. "This thing was discovered, it sounds to me, by accident," said Progressive Conservative justice critic Bob Runciman, a former solicitor general.

Auditor General Jim McMaster said he's reported on other problems in the guardian's office before, including questions about whether investment portfolios were being managed properly, but never allegations of theft.

"I can't say that anything really (similar) stands out in my mind," he said yesterday.

The guardian's office administers $1 billion in financial assets for about 9,000 Ontario citizens who are unable to govern their own affairs. Officials are checking to see if more than one client was cheated out of money.

Bryant also announced that former Ontario integrity commissioner Coulter Osborne has been hired to help guardian office clients and their families with any concerns and to arrange for reimbursement of any losses they suffered. At this point, there is "zero evidence" other staff at the guardian's office have been involved in schemes to cheat clients, Bryant said, but McMaster, along with an outside accounting firm called in to help, are keeping an eye out for any signs that has happened.

"They will follow the money," Bryant said. "The government is focused on moving as quickly as possible."

Ontario Residents and all Canadians who are Physically and Mentally handicapped and are not capable of managing their own affairs are wards of the Government. They are provided with social assistance and all available medical care and whatever assets they may have from their inheritance or from family is managed by the Public Guardian Trustee. Trust among employees of this government agency is thereby absolute and violation of such trust is Sickening....