A complete report on the internal probe into the building inspectors division at city hall is expected to be released soon.
Mayor Brian Bowman told the Free Press the administration will brief members of council on the status of the investigation at a closed-door, private session Wednesday, adding he expects the formal report to be released shortly after that.
"We’ve been told it’s going to ready very soon," Bowman said. "The sooner the better for me. All of us want to see that report, scrutinize it. The public has a right to know. We want to get it out as quickly as we can."
The probe into the egregious workplace habits of the city’s commercial building inspectors began in April, prompted by the publication of the Free Press of surveillance video and notes collected by a group of citizens frustrated with their dealings with building inspectors.
The Free Press story included video and surveillance notes on the inspectors, which showed many of them did little work and spent most of their work day time on long coffee breaks, long lunches or running personal errands.
The disclosure caught the director of the planning, property and development department, John Kiernan, by surprise and he admitted he was unaware of what had been occurring in the building inspections divisions.
The story prompted immediate changes to operational procedures within the building inspections division, Kiernan told councillors in July. Other changes were to be put in place, he said, including monitoring and assessments, over the summer.
The citizen group was initially reluctant to share the surveillance material, which had been gathered by a local private security firm, but eventually turned over the entire material in late June in exchange for an $18,000 fee, an amount they previously said had been the cost to them of the investigation.
Shortly after receiving the information, city officials said the material contradicted statements given by some staff. Six individuals were subsequently fired and three others resigned or retired.
At its April 16 meeting, EPC directed the CAO's office to release a report on the investigation within 30 days of it being concluded.
The city is currently without its top public servant. Former CAO Doug McNeil retired May 24. A search committee has been put in place to find a new CAO but that's not expected to happen for several months. In the meantime Mike Ruta, the city's chief financial officer, was appointed interim CAO.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.