Provincial police have an ongoing investigation into the Caldwell First Nation near Leamington, Ont. (Dan Taekema/CBC) Provincial police are not expecting to lay charges after completing an investigation into “alleged financial crimes” within the Caldwell First Nation near Leamington, Ont.
The investigation by the OPP Major Crimes Unit and Anti-Rackets Branch was launched following two separate allegations about spending during the band’s 2016 powwow.
“Charges are not anticipated,” wrote Const. Jim Root in a media release.
Caldwell’s council removed Chief Louise Hillier and councillor Lonnie Dodge from their positions Saturday in the wake of a forensic audit that found lax financial controls surrounding the powwow held last August. Former Caldwell First Nation Chief Louise Hillier stands outside of a membership meeting in Leamington on Sept. 23, 2017. Members were discussion a forensic audit that found lax financial controls surrounding a 2016 powwow. (Dan Taekema/CBC News) More than 100 band members gathered at their community hall to review the audit, which concluded there were “minimal controls” over $247,000 in powwow prize payouts and that a $190,000 video contract was awarded without competition to a company owned by Hillier’s son.
Jeff Johnson, whose brother was chief before Hillier, said the investigation is a positive step.
“This is a good thing as we have a chance to return to responsible leadership,” he explained.
The band now has 90 days to hold a general election for a new chief and all four council positions.
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