Claims that City of Hamilton employees dumped soil illegally ‘unsubstantiated’


Published December 16, 2021 at 11:20 am

An independent investigation into illegal dumping at a site near Flamborough has found allegations against the City of Hamilton and two of its employees are unsubstantiated. — Google Streetview

Allegations that the City of Hamilton dumped contaminated soil at a fill site near Flamborough have been proven unsubstantial following an independent investigation.

In a press release issued Thursday (Dec. 16), the City said it has been cleared of wrongdoing after a corporate investigative firm, Kroll, conducted a lengthy investigation into allegations that contaminated soil from the Woodward and Governor’s Road public works projects were improperly disposed of on the Waterdown Gardens Supplies site on Highway 5.

Additional allegations were made against two City of Hamilton employees who were said to be involved in hauling the contaminated soil to the property and were alleged to have benefited financially from an arrangement with a firm with reported mob ties.

Thursday’s press release said these accusations were also unsubstantiated and the City employees have since been fully reinstated to their roles as a result.

The allegations came to light in early 2021 when a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the City was filed by the president of Waterdown Gardens Supply Ltd, which is housed on the property.

The suit alleged that more than 2,000 loads of heavily contaminated soil related to the two City of Hamilton projects were dumped illegally on the property.

“Following these serious allegations, City representatives asked the plaintiffs on numerous occasions for evidence to substantiate their allegations but, to date, have not been provided with it,” the City of Hamilton release said.

“In the absence of assistance from the plaintiffs and in the interests of transparency and accountability, City Auditor Charles Brown hired Kroll to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the allegations.”

The subsequent 10-month, $292,000 Kroll investigation, the release said, identified documents indicating that Havana Group Supplies Inc. — which has links to late mob boss Pat Musitano — accepted contaminated soils from various non-City sources and dumped them at the site on Hwy 5.

“The City is committed to openness, transparency and ensuring the City and its staff meet the expectations of the community in terms of service and how that service performed,” said City Manager, Janette Smith.

“I am satisfied that the allegations against the City are unsubstantiated as well as those against its individual employees, who will be fully reinstated to their positions.”

The findings of the Kroll investigation in its entirety can be found here.

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