The finance director of a Halifax children’s hospital said in a fraud trial Friday that she was surprised when much of the former CEO’s expenses disappeared from a report made public.
Mary Lynn Van Tassel testifies in the trial of Tracy Kitch, who was charged with breach of trust and fraud over $ 5,000 in connection with her claims at the IWK Health Center.
The financial officer says that when she prepared the expenses of the former CEO at the end of 2016 for public viewing, she noticed that they were “very high” compared to the expenses of the CEO of the much larger Nova Scotia Health Authority.
Van Tassel says the draft she prepared for the CFO included costs such as thousands of dollars in flight passes, which are prepaid flight booklets that can be used in the short term.
She told Halifax Provincial Court that after the expenses were posted online in January 2017, she noticed that her preliminary figure of around $ 34,000 had dropped sharply, adding that the list no longer contained significant expenses. for flight passes.
Spending Posted Online Has Changed, CFO Says
Van Tassel told the court that Kitch’s version of spending released for public consumption for the period April 2016 to December 2016 was $ 16,685.
“My first reaction was, ‘Wow, that has changed.’ This has changed dramatically, ”said Van Tassel.
“What had been taken out were the flight passes and it appeared that some of the cost of the passes was clearly missing.”
Kitch had started working at the Children’s Hospital in August 2014 after moving to Nova Scotia from his home in Oakville, Ont. She left the hospital in June 2017.
In 2017, the hospital ordered an investigation after CBC News revealed discrepancies in Kitch’s spending. The hospital report concluded that $ 47,000 in expenses charged to the hospital had been viewed by auditors as “potentially personal.” All the money was paid back when Kitch resigned that summer.
The Crown said last week in its opening statement that it would focus on 68 transactions through Kitch between 2014 and 2017, including for flights between Toronto and Halifax.