8 fired, 7 suspended in City of Winnipeg after an internal "loosening" poll – Winnipeg

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Other heads are rolling to the Town Hall following a research on the work habits of city building inspectors.

Winnipeg provisional CAO Mike Ruta said that eight people were fired on Wednesday and seven were suspended after an internal review in the city's Planning, Property and Development (PPD) department.

The probe was born from a private investigation that involved several employees in a camera to do personal shopping, run errands and take long lunch breaks during working hours.

"We are deeply disappointed to have discovered that there was truth in the allegations," Ruta said after delivering the details of the report to city councilors on Wednesday.

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Fires at the town hall, 6 Winnipeg building inspectors fired during the investigation

"We realize that the issue was not limited to breaking trust between us as an employer and our employees – we have also broken public confidence and the trust of our elected officials.

"Unfortunately, what we discovered was much more than a breach of trust – it was also theft – theft in the form of time and theft in the form of fraudulent requests for miles".

The city examined 80,000 documents, 1,500 inspections of daily work, examined 63 employee files and interviewed nearly 100 staff members during the probe months, Ruta said.

In addition to the dismissed or suspended employees, four others were reprimanded in writing and one received a non-disciplinary letter.

Ruta was unable to tell if the city would pursue the matter in a criminal way and would not have said if the employees who had discovered they had been taken away would have to repay the city.

While Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxdedo-Westwood) is pleased to see the employees disciplined following the review, said more needs to be done.

"It is very disappointing that this is a five-month survey with very few actions or details provided," he said, asking for a downward revision of all city departments and activities.

"We need to get to the heart of the problem, we need to get to the culture that created this problem.

"This is just a department, this is a culture throughout the city."

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Ruta said that a review of all field operations will be carried out in each department, with the help of an external consultant "to ensure that there is consistency in their procedures and in their management".

The review will also cover the structure of each department, management and recruitment practices, he added.

"To move forward, we must learn from the situation," he said.

News of the controversy broke out when the shooting of hidden cameras of civic employees who relax at work – doing everything from extended breaks to smoking to taking a two-hour break to go out to Tim Hortons – were made public in April.

An anonymous Winnipegger group worried – small contractors, homeowners and people frustrated by the inspection process – sold the footage to the city for $ 18,000.

–With Brittany Greenslade's files

WATCH: City that investigates after "about" the hidden investigations on the cameras of Winnipeg employees who waste time






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. (tagsToTranslate) internal probe (t) City of Winnipeg (t) Planning (t) PPD (t) probe (t) Real estate development (t) Policy

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