Former IWK CEO used hospital credit card for personal expenses in Toronto, documents show
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:19PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:40PM AST
As the former president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre prepares to go to court on fraud charges, CTV News has learned Tracy Kitch also used a hospital credit card for personal expenses when she worked at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital -- personal expenses that she also repaid.
Kitch was charged after a Halifax Regional Police investigation into an expense scandal that saw her charge, and later repay, personal expenses while she was CEO at the IWK.
A CTV News investigation that began a year ago has yielded new information and documents.
It's been 15 months since Kitch resigned as IWK CEO amid the expense allegations -- and one month since those allegations turned to charges, not just for her, but also for the IWK's former chief financial officer, Stephen D’Arcy.
After a lengthy investigation by Halifax police, Kitch was charged in October with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.
D’Arcy is facing charges of breach of trust, unauthorized use of computer, and mischief to data.
Before Kitch worked for the IWK, she was a senior vice-president at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where her salary was $225,000 with an annual bonus pegged at 20 per cent.
After her resignation from the IWK, CTV News received a tip alleging that Kitch had expense problems at Mount Sinai as well.
Last fall, CTV News requested Kitch's expense reports while she was at Mount Sinai.
In January, Kitch appealed the release of those documents and CTV also appealed.
In the end, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) “directed the hospital to release a copy of the expense reports that includes both the hospital's redactions of repaid personal expenses, as well as the additional redactions as requested by Ms. Kitch…”
The documents show expenses such as a hotel stay, a flight to a conference, or a taxi charge.
But for some months, almost the entire expense report has been redacted.
At the time CTV News obtained the documents, a hospital spokesperson said: “The hospital had, and continues to have, a policy in place requiring that hospital-issued credit cards be used only for business purposes.”
Kitch left Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital to come to the IWK in 2014, where her base salary would be $280,000 plus expenses.
In a statement, Mount Sinai Hospital confirms they have been participating in the investigation in Halifax.
“During their investigation, Halifax police contacted us and we fully cooperated, and continue to fully cooperate, with their investigation.”
The statement continued:
“As stewards of public funds, we are committed to ensuring that our internal financial systems are strong, that all expenses meet our stringent policies, and we continually look for ways to strengthen our processes. As this matter is before the courts, it would be inappropriate for us to provide further information at this time.”
Kitch was arrested in her Oakville, Ont., home in October and D'Arcy turned himself in to police in Toronto.
They both have a court date scheduled for Dec. 20 in Halifax.
Kitch was released on $2,000 bail and those court documents list a number of people with whom she is to have no contact. Many of them are IWK board members, including Chair Karen Hutt. The list also includes Robert Hanf, Phil Otto and Stephen D'Arcy.
Attempts to reach Kitch have been unsuccessful.
None of the allegations against Kitch or D’Arcy have been tested in court. The charges Kitch is facing apply only to her time in Halifax.
The Crown in the case is Peter Dostal, who says there's “nothing confirmed” as to who will represent Kitch.
The IWK said Tuesday they can’t comment, as the matter is before the courts.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.