Court quashes conviction of former IWK CEO Tracy Kitch
Nova Scotia's Court of Appeal has overturned the fraud conviction of former IWK CEO Tracy Kitch and ordered a new trial.
Kitch was convicted last February of fraud over $5,000 for billing personal expenses to the IWK — expenses ranging from personal flights for family members, Netflix and iTunes fees, taxi bills and overage charges on her cellphone.
Kitch was sentenced in August to five months in jail followed by 12 months of probation. She spent one night at the Burnside jail before she was released on bail pending appeal.
The three-member appeal panel listened to less than four hours of argument from both the Crown and Kitch's lawyer — Brian Greenspan — before quashing the conviction and ordering a new trial. No reasons for the decision were given.
Kitch wasn't in the courtroom Tuesday.
'No dishonourable or dishonest conduct'
Greenspan told the appeal panel "there was nothing about Kitch's expenses that could be characterized as fraudulent. No dishonourable or dishonest conduct."
"They thought his analysis was inadequate," Greenspan said to reporters outside of the courtroom in reference to Judge Paul Scovil's provincial court ruling.
Greenspan told the reporters the judge "failed to address some of the critical elements of what might constitute dishonesty. He failed to resolve conflicting evidence and he failed to arrive at conclusions that supported the conviction."
Greenspan said Kitch's conduct amounts to "careless mismanagement" and not fraud.
Crown attorney Erica Kurasawa said the court was clearly unimpressed with the trial judge's reasoning.
"It did seem based on some of the questions being asked that there were aspects of the trial judge decision that were troubling to the Court of Appeal," she told reporters outside the courtroom.
Kurasawa said the Crown would assess whether there is still a realistic prospect of conviction and whether there is a public interest in proceeding with a new trial.
"And if so, then a process will be initiated to bring Ms. Kitch back before the courts and have a trial date set."
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