The finance director of a Halifax children’s hospital said today in a fraud trial that she was surprised when a significant portion of the former CEO’s expenses disappeared from a publicly released report.

Mary Lynn Van Tassel testifies at the trial of Tracy Kitch, who has been charged with breach of trust and fraud of more than $ 5,000 in connection with her expense claims to the IWK Health Center.

The CFO says that when she prepared the former CEO’s expenses in late 2016 for public viewing, she realized they were “very high” compared to the CEO’s expenses of Nova’s much larger agency. Scotia Health.

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Van Tassel says the draft he prepared for the CFO included costs like thousands of dollars in flight passes, which are prepaid flight brochures that can be used on short notice.

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She told the Halifax provincial court that after the expenses were posted publicly online in January 2017, she noted that her preliminary figure of about $ 34,000 had dropped dramatically, adding that the list no longer contained large pass expenses. Of flight.

Van Tassel told the court that the version of Kitch’s expenditures published for public consumption during the period from April 2016 to December 2016 was $ 16,685.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Wow, this has changed.’ It changed dramatically, ”Van Tassel testified.

“What had been retired was the flight passes and it seemed that some of the costs of the passes were obviously missing.”

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Kitch had started working at the children’s hospital in August 2014 after moving to Nova Scotia from her home in Oakville, Ontario. He was released from the hospital in June 2017.

In 2017, the hospital ordered an investigation after CBC revealed discrepancies in Kitch’s spending. The hospital report concluded that the auditors had deemed $ 47,000 in expenses charged to the hospital “potentially personal.” All money was repaid when Kitch resigned that summer.

The Crown said Monday in its opening statement that it will focus on 68 Kitch transactions between 2014 and 2017, including flights between Toronto and Halifax.

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This Canadian Press report was first published on November 19, 2021.

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