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RCMP probe new Dawson City theft

The RCMP has launched a new investigation into Dawson City’s finances.An undisclosed amount of money has gone missing from the town’s…

The RCMP has launched a new investigation into Dawson City’s finances.

An undisclosed amount of money has gone missing from the town’s coffers, prompting another police inquiry.

“We received a complaint from the city in early April, and we are doing an investigation,” Cpl. Dan Gaudet of the RCMP’s Dawson detachment said Wednesday.

“Right now, I can’t substantiate what exactly happened, but we are doing an investigation at the city office.

“It started in early April.”

Gaudet would not supply details.

Dawson’s newest trustee, Leo Chasse, said the investigation is entirely separate from a forensic audit completed last year that indicated gross financial mismanagement spanning six years.

The audit suggested three former town officials — mayor Glen Everitt, treasurer Dale Courtice and chief administrative officer Scott Coulson — should repay more than $200,000 in misspent or unaccounted municipal funds.

The three men are subject to an ongoing RCMP investigation, but have had nothing to do with Dawson’s finances since their dismissal in April 2004.

Chasse wouldn’t say how much is missing this time.

“I wouldn’t want to jeopardize the investigation,” he said.

The apparent theft happened under the watch of town manager Paul Moore.

“The money was discovered missing during a cashout, and the police were contacted immediately,” said Moore, who has been town manager for more than a year.

“It has nothing to do with the forensic audit. This is new money.”

Ray Hayes was trustee from April 13, 2004, until March 30, 2006, when Chasse replaced him.

“(The theft) was after the first of April or around that time,” Hayes said Wednesday.

“I don’t think that has any relation to one person leaving and another person starting.”

The Yukon government knows nothing about a new police investigation, Community Services minister Glenn Hart said Tuesday.

“Not that I’m aware of,” said Hart, who fired the town’s council in April 2004 and installed a trustee.

The government is planning to announce a bailout package for Dawson before the end of May that will pay down at least a portion of its $4 million debt and possibly address infrastructure costs for the town’s faulty recreation centre and decrepit sewage system.

Municipal elections in Dawson will be held by June 15, said Hart.

“The trustee has indicated that they were coming along fine with regards to their numbers, their dollars and cents,” he said.

“There was no huge amount left over, shall we say, for unusual circumstances.

“In essence, there was money in the bank to cover the payroll.”

In earlier debates in the legislature, Hart said he was considering appointing a supervisor for “guidance” until a newly elected town council gets its bearings.

Klondike MLA Peter Jenkins vouched for the integrity of current city officials.

“The people up there now and the controls that are in place are pretty damn good,” said Jenkins.

“If the controls are working they should have no problem, but the controls should also point out any irregularities.”