NANAIMO — The City of Nanaimo's chief financial officer is being taken to small claims court by his previous employer.
A notice of claim filed on Sept. 15 showed the District of Sechelt is seeking nearly $10,000 from Victor Mema, claiming Mema "charged a significant number of items to the District credit card without proper approval from his supervisor...These unapproved items were personal in nature and not related to legitimate District business."
Mema left Sechelt after being hired as Nanaimo's director of finance in Sept. 2015.
Court documents said the charges came to the District's attention after Mema resigned and included flights, accommodations, car insurance, cash advances and cell phone charges. It claimed Mema paid back roughly $4,300 but has failed to pay more than $9,700 "in admitted and obviously personal unapproved charges made to the District's credit card."
In an emailed statement to NanaimoNewsNOW, Mema said the claim is "essentially incorrect."
"It needs to be stated that I have a counter-claim against the District of Sechelt for a higher amount than reported, which the District of Sechelt is aware of. I won’t be divulging specific details about that until such time as it is a matter of public record as a Provincial Court filing."
Nanaimo's chief administrative officer Tracy Samra said in an email "Mr. Mema has demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout his tenure at the City of Nanaimo and we are proud that he continues to serve as our chief financial officer."
The District of Sechelt declined to comment. The allegations have not been heard in court.
Financial statements showed Mema claimed nearly $63,000 in expenses to Sechelt taxpayers in 2013 and 2014 combined. From the beginning of his employment with Nanaimo up until June 30 of this year, Mema's expense claims topped $27,200. City documents showed he went over his budget in 2016 and has already surpassed his 2017 budget by more than $4,400.
On Twitter: @domabassi
Note to readers: This story has been updated to include a statement from Victor Mema.
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