Sandy Bay CFS head fired after allegations of financial irregularities

The head of Sandy Bay First Nation’s child welfare agency has been fired after financial irregularities were discovered, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization alleged Wednesday.

Richard De La Ronde, who served as executive director of the Sandy Bay Child and Family Services for several years, has been terminated, the organization said.

Forensic auditors are looking into RADKA, a company owned by De La Ronde that has been receiving prepaid rent from the Children’s Special Allowance fund to build CFS offices that are not complete. The child welfare agency’s headquarters in Sandy Bay First Nation burned down in 2019.

The Southern First Nations Network of Care, which oversees First Nations child welfare agencies, took over administration of Sandy Bay Child and Family Services in June, after it noticed financial issues. An audit is being done by Grant Thornton LLP, the Southern Chiefs Organization said in an email on Wednesday. 

The child and family services agency is running a deficit and work is being done to correct that. Part of that work includes stopping payments on two personal credit cards belonging to De La Ronde and his wife, the email said.

Auditors provided a preliminary report to the Southern First Nations Network of Care in August, with an interim report to be delivered in the coming weeks, the email said.

CBC News could not immediately reach Richard De La Ronde for comment.

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