Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former Fire Commissioner facing charges, including fraud

  • Print

Christopher Jones, Manitoba's former Fire Commissioner, will face charges of fraud, forgery and breach of trust by a public officer, RCMP said today.

Jones, who was ousted from his job in June 2011, is accused of doctoring documents to make expense claims to the tune of more than $55,000 between June 2009 and February 2011, RCMP said.

The police investigation began in November 2012 after Mounties received a forensic audit report from the provincial Comptroller's office.

That audit, completed by Manitoba's Auditor General, showed " allegations of irregular financial activities" in the Office of the Fire Commisioner (OFC).

"The RCMP investigation identified accountable advances and/or expense claims which were believed to have been supported by documents which had been fabricated and or forged," police said in a statement issued Friday.

"In excess of $55,000.00 was disbursed as unsupported payments with the ultimate beneficiary being the former Fire Commissioner for the Province of Manitoba," RCMP said.

Jones was recently arrested by officers in the federal serious organized crime unit and released on conditions. His first court date is in Winnipeg on Feb. 26, said police.

The provincial auditor general found former employees of the OFC allegedly colluded to fabricate expense claims for several years before being caught in 2011 when American Express cancelled a government-issued credit card for non-payment.

"Over several years, we believe, OFC employees received payments they were not entitled to that were supported by documents that may have been fabricated and, in one instance, may have been forged," Carol Bellringer said in January 2013.

When the irregularities came to light in mid-2011, Jones and the others were fired, while one other employee had retired two years previous.

The OFC investigates the cause of fires, co-ordinates rescue missions when people get lost in a forest or are stranded by floods, inspects elevators and boilers, issues building and occupancy permits and oversees training for firefighters and paramedics.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

Comments are not accepted on this story because they might prejudice a case before the courts.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google