Former Sechelt chief financial officer Victor Mema will face a hearing before the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta over alleged misconduct while working for the municipalities of Sechelt and Nanaimo.
In a decision released Jan. 11, Justices Watson, Wakeling and Freehan of the Court of Appeal of Alberta upheld a May 2021 tribunal of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta ruling. That decision determined that the organization has jurisdiction to hear four complaints regarding Mema’s conduct, two from Alberta and two from B.C.
The memorandum of judgment document detailed that Mema became a member of the Society of Certified Management Accountants of Alberta on Sept. 17, 2014. He was employed by Sechelt from April 2013 to August 2015 and moved into a similar job with the City of Nanaimo in March 2016. He worked there until October 2017. Complaints were filed with chartered professional accountant (CPA) associations in Alberta and B.C. about his alleged inappropriate use of corporate credit cards for personal expenditures while he was employed with each of those municipalities.
In the memorandum, the Justices wrote “We see no difficulty in the discipline tribunal reviewing the whole of Mr. Mema’s employment with the District of Sechelt, since he was a member in Alberta for a substantial part of that employment. The Alberta statute provides that a discipline tribunal may make findings and orders whether or not the conduct occurred in Alberta.”
The court also dismissed Mema’s appeal to have an award of tribunal costs against him dismissed. The tribunal had determined that Mema should pay the full costs of the appeal on the grounds that the CPA Alberta membership should not have to pay costs of proceedings involving a member’s conduct. A decision on those costs remains stayed until conclusion of CPA Alberta’s disciplinary proceedings.
No information on dates for the CPA Alberta's hearing regarding Mema’s conduct were posted on its website at Coast Reporter deadline.
In 2017, Sechelt launched a BC Small Claims Court action alleging that after Mema left its employment “it came to the district’s attention that the defendant had charged a significant number of items to the district credit card without proper approval from his supervisor.” Sechelt withdrew that claim in March, 2020.