Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin)                                Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin) Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Nanaimo’s chief financial officer no longer with city

Victor Mema had been with the city since 2015

A high-ranking senior manager with the City of Nanaimo is out of a job.

Victor Mema, chief financial officer and deputy chief administrative officer, is no longer employed with the City of Nanaimo, according to an e-mailed statement from the city. Mema had been on leave since March. Laura Mercer has been serving as acting chief financial officer since then.

John Van Horne, the city’s director of human resources, told the News Bulletin that the city could not comment on whether Mema resigned or was fired.

Mema was hired as the city’s director of finance in September 2015 after spending time as the chief financial officer with the District of Sechelt. He has also worked in various high-level finance roles with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, County of Lac La Biche and was a finance manager with the Town of Los Gatos in California.

During his time in Nanaimo, Mema was later promoted to chief financial officer in June 2016 and in March 2017 he was also named as the city’s deputy chief administrative officer.

Prior to the Monday’s announcement, Mema had been the subject of allegations regarding improper use of purchase cards. In September 2017, the District of Sechelt, filed a civil claim against Mema, accusing him of racking up $36,212 in personal expenses with district-issued purchase card. According to court documents, the district claims Mema only paid back $4,381 and that some of the purchases were made at places such as Edmonton Jaguar.

In late January 2016, more than a year before the civil lawsuit against him, Mema filed a human rights complaint against the District of Sechelt, claiming that the district discriminated against him because of his ethnicity and skin colour. According to the tribunal’s ruling on the case in August 2017, Mema received a letter from Sechelt in December 2015 that demanded an explanation to a number of “personal” charges that appeared their “corporate credit card” when Mema was still employed with them.

The tribunal’s ruling, which ultimately threw out the complaint, states that Mema responded to the district with a letter on January 20 2016, in which he admitted that “at least some of the charges were for his personal expenses” and sought more information. The day after sending his letter to the district, Mema filed his racial discrimination complaint with the tribunal.

RELATED: City fills staffing need in chief financial officer’s absence

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

This past March, the city issued a press release in March stating that an independent investigation would be conducted to deal with an “allegation of significant concern.” Following the announcement, Mema had been on a leave of absence, according to the city.

Last month, the News Bulletin reported that Mema had used a city purchase card to book 11 separate flights for personal use between July 2016 and September 2017 and Tracy Samra, the city’s chief administrative officer, approved the purchases.

Neither Mema nor Mayor Bill McKay responded to a request for comment.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

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

Just Posted

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins in Nanaimo for man involved in car crash that killed retired police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

Two semi trucks collided on the Nanaimo Parkway just north of Northfield Road on Wednesday morning, May 5. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Semi truck driver now in stable condition following this week’s crash on Nanaimo Parkway

RCMP repeat call for any dashcam footage around 7:40 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5

Phone companies have the expertise to be able to address the problem of phone scams, says letter writer. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Phone companies should crack down on scammers

It’s time for these companies to be held accountable, says letter writer

B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announces an app that is intended to connect children and youths with mental health and addictions services. (B.C. Government image/Flickr)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youths launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6 million to fund virtual care platform

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read