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July 10, 2019

City of Winnipeg suspends three building inspectors; two others quit, one retires as probe nears end

As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, the internal probe into the City of Winnipeg’s building inspections division has claimed its first casualties.

Three employees have been put on leave without pay pending the completion of the investigation; two staff members have quit and another retired.

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Angie Cusson, the city’s director of human relations, said she expects others will be disciplined when the investigation is completed, which she said would before the end of next week.

Cusson briefed Mayor Brian Bowman and members of his executive policy committee Tuesday, and then met with reporters.

“We expect there will be more staff impacted,” when the investigation is completed next week, Cusson told EPC.

A group of citizens hired a local private investigation firm to monitor the activities of 17 different building inspectors earlier this year. The results of the 28-day investigation, published by the Free Press in early April, included notes and video and photos of the inspectors who seemed to be doing very little work: taking long lunches and coffee breaks, and running personal errands and going on shopping trips.

Of the 17 inspectors monitored, only one seemed to be putting in a full day’s work.

The citizens, who remain anonymous, said they were motivated by their frustrations in dealing with the inspectors. The group eventually turned over the surveillance material to the city, in exchange for $18,000 — the amount they said they paid to private investigators.

Keep reading in the Winnipeg Free Press