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---- June 3 2000, Sat. - by Richard Mackie, Queen's Park Bureau

ORC alleges improper site cleanups

Toronto The Ontario Realty Corp. and its lawyers are planning to hire an independent environmental consulting firm to help them prove that cleanup work paid for by the ORC was not done properly.

In at least one case, according to court documents released by the corporation, contaminated soil and cement were not removed from a site but were used to build a berm on the property to be sold.

Forensic auditors going through past contracts awarded by the agency have found several instances of bid-rigging and kickbacks, according to documents the auditors filed in court. These cases involved deals to clean up properties that the ORC wanted to sell.

The auditors and the OPP are looking at past contracts, including sales of land, to see whether the irregularities are serious enough to warrant laying charges.

So far no charges have been laid, but court documents have named three former ORC employees and alleged they participated in improper activities. They are Vincent Catalfo, Ross Farewell and Kent Banting.

The documents also have alleged that the Gabriele group of companies is implicated in the improper activities along with Pierino Gabriele, Frank Gabriele and Antonio Gabriele. Also named in the documents are the Sirman group of companies and Ivan Sirman.


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