A follow-up report on a gala fundraiser organized by Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek said, the RCMP confirmed that one officer who attended the event worked four hours overtime, at the suggestion of the officer-in-charge, to help cover the cost of buying tickets.
The Jan. 25, 2020 event raised $56,000 for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation to buy equipment to detect ovarian and breast cancer at an early stage, but also generated controversy, with critics on council charging there was a lack of consultation and improper use of City resources.
Mayor van de Broek rejected the claims, saying that there was a lack of clarity about such events in City guidelines.
To be presented to the Monday, April 26 meeting of council, the April 20 report by City chief administrative officer (CAO) Francis Cheung outlined the results of a detailed review of expenses ordered by council in September.
It was ordered following presentation of an initial report that said, while RCMP officers were not directly paid overtime to attend the event, remarks by the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Langley detachment had created confusion.
The initial report by Paul Gill, the former Maple Ridge general manager of finance and corporate services, said the OIC of the Langley detachment sent an email to senior officers that pointed out a four hour overtime shift approved by him was “enough to cover the cost of two persons.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how many officers had availed themselves of that opportunity.
Gill reported 35 Langley RCMP members attended the event and 19 of them came with spouses or guests, buying 54 tickets for a total value of $8,100.
Supt. Murray Power, the OIC of the Langley RCMP detachment, was reassigned after reports about the overtime email surfaced.
In his report to council, Cheung said in response to a City query, the mayor’s office received an April 1 email from assistant RCMP commissioner Maureen Levy that said a “thorough review” showed $361.44 in overtime was charged to the City of Langley after the gala.
Asked for a detailed cost analysis, on April 6, Levy replied, stating that one member “performed four hours of overtime, on regular time off, in order to cover the cost of purchasing two tickets to the gala.”
Levy added that the overtime “could be traced back to the email that Supt. Power sent to his senior officers in order to encourage them to attend the mayor’s gala and that a four-hour overtime shift would be approved to cover the costs of purchasing two tickets to the gala.”
The only other costs listed in the Cheung report were two City administrative staff, who spent “a total of approximately 1.23 hours to support the mayor’s gala.” Estimated cost: $77.43.
Two Langley City Fire Rescue staff also attended the gala wearing their honour guard uniforms, Cheung added, but “it is our understanding that the IAFF Local 3253 [the firefighters union] bought two tickets for them to attend the gala at their own expense. One of the two staff was scheduled to work on the night shift but the IAFF Local 3253 back-filled his shift at their expense.”
Have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.