One official got heat for making some "questionable purchases" for first responders, according to an auditor's report. A Saskatchewan highway patrol chief reportedly bought equipment ranging from silencers to drones and more. He is now suing the province over his dismissal.
According to a Saskatchewan auditor's report published on Tuesday, June 23, the highway patrol team bought equipment they didn't need.
For example, they bought 12 silencers, an AR-10 carbine, two fully automatic rifles, a drone, a high-power rifle scope, and more.
"The ministry did not document a business need to buy certain types of firearms and weapons given the Highway Patrol's role as a first responder in emergency situations," read the report.
They also bought a shotgun after the deputy minister explicitly told staff not to buy shotguns.
According to CBC News, former highway patrol Chief Robin Litzenberger was behind the purchases.
He'd spent $700,000 in total on new supplies, but $140,000 was spent on weapons and equipment they weren't allowed to use. The rest were still usable, including equipment like body armour and cameras.
The unusable equipment will be "locked up and liquidated to proper law agencies," said Highways Minister Greg Ottenbreit to CBC.
Litzenberger was later fired from his position in October of 2019.
"I'm very confident in the leadership we have at the highway patrol now," said Ottenbreit. "I know that morale is very good."
Litzenberger later sued the province over his dismissal in December of 2019, according to CTV, calling it based on false allegations of improper spending and more.
The claim read that Litzenberger "at all times properly, competently and professionally discharged his employment duties and responsibilities to the defendant."
The Saskatchewan Highway Patrol was formed in 2018 to help respond to rural incidents.
However, they're considered first-responders, and "is to turn over investigations to a police service (e.g., RCMP) at the first available opportunity, read the auditor's report.
According to the report, none of the "questionable" weapons and supplies have been used by the team and are sitting safely in locked storage.