SAO facing fraud charges

SAO facing fraud charges

Brenda Black, SAO for the Town of Fort Smith, has been charged with “fraud under $5,000 and breach of trust,” stated a press release from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued last Thursday evening.

The investigation began after “financial irregularities during the former administration were discovered” at the Township of Georgian Bay (ToGB) and reported to the OPP by township staff, said the press release.

A former member of the local council for the township is facing the same charges.

Black served as the senior administrator in Georgian Bay before coming to Fort Smith.

Constable Dave Hobson of the the OPP for Southern Georgian Bay told The Journal the investigation was “thorough and fairly lengthy.”

Brenda Black told The Journal on Friday that she had not heard formally from the OPP about the charges, but had received a copy of the OPP press release on the matter which she forwarded to all members of Fort Smith town council. She said she would be fighting the charges.

“It is very alarming that I am learning of this though a press release,” she commented.

“This has been a difficult matter and counterproductive to the Township of Georgian Bay and it is nice to see it is going to be brought to a conclusion,” was the township’s statement to The Journal.

Mayor Larry Braid of the ToGB said that the new Council voted unanimously on a resolution to ask the OPP to investigate at their inaugural meeting on December 6, 2010.

“At this point  the Township will wait for the Justice System to function,” he stated.

The first court appearance on the matter is scheduled for October 13, 2011.

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