Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin) Victor Mema, City of Nanaimo chief financial officer, is no longer employed with the city. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Nanaimo’s chief financial officer no longer with city

Victor Mema had been on leave since March and was the subject of allegations regarding improper use of personal expense funds

A high-ranking senior manager with the City of Nanaimo is out of a job.

Victor Mema, chief financial officer and deputy chief administrative officer, is no longer employed with the City of Nanaimo, according to an e-mailed statement from the city. Mema had been on leave since March. Laura Mercer has been serving as acting chief financial officer since then.

John Van Horne, the city’s director of human resources, told the News Bulletin that the city could not comment on whether Mema resigned or was fired.

Mema was hired as the city’s director of finance in September 2015 after spending time as the chief financial officer with the District of Sechelt. He has also worked in various high-level finance roles with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, County of Lac La Biche and was a finance manager with the Town of Los Gatos in California.

During his time in Nanaimo, Mema was later promoted to chief financial officer in June 2016 and in March 2017 he was also named as the city’s deputy chief administrative officer.

Prior to the Monday’s announcement, Mema had been the subject of allegations regarding improper use of purchase cards. In September 2017, the District of Sechelt, filed a civil claim against Mema, accusing him of racking up $36,212 in personal expenses with district-issued purchase card. According to court documents, the district claims Mema only paid back $4,381 and that some of the purchases were made at places such as Edmonton Jaguar.

In late January 2016, more than a year before the civil lawsuit against him, Mema filed a human rights complaint against the District of Sechelt, claiming that the district discriminated against him because of his ethnicity and skin colour. According to the tribunal’s ruling on the case in August 2017, Mema received a letter from Sechelt in December 2015 that demanded an explanation to a number of “personal” charges that appeared their “corporate credit card” when Mema was still employed with them.

The tribunal’s ruling, which ultimately threw out the complaint, states that Mema responded to the district with a letter on January 20 2016, in which he admitted that “at least some of the charges were for his personal expenses” and sought more information. The day after sending his letter to the district, Mema filed his racial discrimination complaint with the tribunal.

RELATED: City fills staffing need in chief financial officer’s absence

RELATED: Nanaimo’s chief financial officer used city purchase card for 11 personal flights

This past March, the city issued a press release in March stating that an independent investigation would be conducted to deal with an “allegation of significant concern.” Following the announcement, Mema had been on a leave of absence, according to the city.

Last month, the News Bulletin reported that Mema had used a city purchase card to book 11 separate flights for personal use between July 2016 and September 2017 and Tracy Samra, the city’s chief administrative officer, approved the purchases.

Neither Mema nor Mayor Bill McKay responded to a request for comment.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Just Posted

Donation saves Ladysmith Logger Sports pole climbing competition

The death-defying and stomach-turning skills of the world’s best lumberjacks will go… Continue reading

Shawnigan Lake’s Maggie Banks wins BC Games’ top prize

Rubgy star honoured with W.R. Bennett Award and scholarship

Duncan wrestler Ashton Combdon beats the odds to medal at BC Summer Games

Combdon joins CVWC teammates Talon Hird and Hayley Bye-Pace on the podium

Family effort helps Duncan swimmer Mary Paridaen van Veen to gold at BC Summer Games

Mom, dad and sister all members of the Cowichan Valley swimming community

Open water swimming from Victoria to Washington State

The swim will take at least 24 hours, meaning Susan Simmons will be swimming in the black of night

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read