Victor Mema. (News Bulletin file photo)

CPA Alberta to hold disciplinary hearing for Nanaimo’s ex-CFO

Victor Mema will be asked about allegations of $14,000 in personal expenses in Nanaimo

A former high-ranking senior manager is facing a disciplinary hearing with the organization representing accountants in Alberta over accusations of professional misconduct and misuse of public funds while he was employed with the City of Nanaimo.

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta’s discipline tribunal will hold a hearing into allegations of “unprofessional conduct” by Victor Mema, the city’s former chief financial officer for nearly two years, according to a notice on the CPA Alberta website.

A two-day hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 4-5 in Edmonton.

CPA Alberta’s complaints inquiry committee claims that Mema “failed to act with integrity and due care” as the City of Nanaimo’s chief financial officer by making $14,150 in “unauthorized personal expenses” with his city-issued purchase card, approving “some of his own unauthorized personal expenses” for reimbursement, failing to “promptly” repay the City of Nanaimo and approving “unauthorized expenses” incurred by the city’s chief financial officer at the time, including legal expenses “in excess of council-approved amounts.”

Furthermore, the committee claims Mema made at least $7,700 in personal expenses with a city-issued purchase card while employed as the District of Sechelt’s chief financial officer.

The committee also accuses Mema of failing to co-operate with its regulatory process by not responding “on a timely basis” to an investigator.

CPA Alberta’s complaints committee’s claim that Mema made $14,150 in personal expenses with a City of Nanaimo issued purchase card is significant because the city has redacted that information from credit card statements. Documents obtained by the News Bulletin show that Mema repaid $11,418 to the city in 2017 and that his repayment included 21 recurring $500 deductions from his paycheques.

Speaking to the News Bulletin, Gordon Turtle, senior vice-president with CPA Alberta, said Mema’s registration with CPA Alberta has been temporarily suspended since the summer. He also said Mema has filed an application with the Court of Alberta, challenging the organization’s jurisdiction in the matter because the alleged events took place in B.C.

“We intend to oppose that application as a regulatory body. The matter is with our external counsel, so we are limited in what we can say about that,” Turtle said, adding that he couldn’t discuss specifics around Mema’s upcoming hearing.

All complaints received by CPA Alberta are handled by the organization’s complaints inquiry committee, which is responsible for determining whether complaints should be investigated further or dismissed. According to Turtle, while CPA Alberta will investigate complaints it receives directly, it will also examine alleged misconduct if it’s brought to the group’s attention informally such as through the media. He said CPA Alberta, which has 28,000 registered members, receives about 100 complaints per year.

“Not all complaints end up in a hearing, sometimes they get dismissed or sometimes they get resolved through mediation…” he said. “I would say between 70 to 80 per cent of those are dismissed for a number of reasons and about 10 to 20 per cent end up in front of a disciplinary tribunal hearing.”

Turtle said anyone who is the subject of a tribunal hearing is “legally” required to attend.

The CPA Alberta has the authority to sanction individuals. Sanctions can include reprimands, fines, suspensions, restrictions on areas of practice and cancellations of individuals’ registration.

RELATED: Nanaimo’s chief financial officer no longer with city

RELATED: Nanaimo’s chief financial officer used city purchase card for 11 personal flights

Mema was originally hired as the City of Nanaimo’s director of finance in September 2015, then promoted to chief financial officer in June 2016 and later named deputy chief administrative officer. He was fired in May 2018 following a two-month suspension and after it was revealed that he used a city purchase card to book 11 separate flights for personal use.

The former chief financial officer has since filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against the City of Nanaimo, accusing the municipality of discriminating against his ancestry, race, place of origin and colour. A hearing was scheduled to take place last October but was postponed.

Mema could not be reached for comment.

RELATED: Former chief financial officer files racism complaint against City of Nanaimo

RELATED: City of Nanaimo, ex-CFO trade documents as part of human rights tribunal process







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Protesters in Nanaimo preach peace in Iran

Rally sees gathering at Diana Krall Plaza in downtown Nanaimo

Hat-trick performance helps Clippers prevail on home ice

Liam Ryan scores three, Steven Agriogianis gets overtime winner

Robbie Burns Day recognized with bagpipes and haggis

Nanaimo celebrates life and works of 18th-century poet

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

Hat-trick performance helps Clippers prevail on home ice

Liam Ryan scores three, Steven Agriogianis gets overtime winner

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Most Read