[URBAN NOTE] “‘Very serious’ allegations over Scarborough subway debate referred to auditor general”
The Toronto Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro reports on the latest scandal involving the Scarborough subway debate, allegations of massive systematic confusion regarding the costs of an extension. This is getting meta, and ridiculous.
A city watchdog is recommending referral of a complaint of alleged wrongdoing by staff in the controversial Scarborough subway debate to the auditor general’s office, calling the allegations it contains “very serious.”
In a letter dated Jan. 24, Ombudsman Susan Opler told a group of residents their complaint was best submitted to the auditor general, who is responsible for investigating alleged wrongdoing by the public service.
The residents, backed by the transit advocacy group Scarborough Transit Action, filed the complaint Jan. 19 following a Star story over a misleading briefing note produced by the TTC in the midst of a controversial debate that saw council again approve a more than $3.2 billion one-stop subway extension over the alternative of light rail line fully paid for by the province.
Opler wrote that “at its core” the complaint appeared to be allegations against TTC CEO Andy Byford under the Toronto Public Service bylaw, according to the letter provided to the Star by the complainants.
While she said her office did not come to any conclusions about the “validity” of the allegations, Opler said it’s her opinion the allegations fall under the definition of “wrongdoing” in the bylaw, which is described as “serious actions that are contrary to the public interest,” including fraud and waste but also “breach of public trust.”