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Controversial Sudbury roads project was halted because of problems with the asphalt, investigation concludes

Sudbury’s auditor general is refuting allegations from a road resurfacing company that levelled several personal accusations against city staff who halted work on a project this summer.

Ron Foster said he received formal complaints from Frank Crupi of Toronto-based Road Surface Recycling in July, when the city halted the work.

Foster said he narrowed the list down by removing repetitive complaints and ones that were too personal. But of the nine he investigated, he said there was no evidence that city staff stopped the project for any reason other than job performance.

The pilot project used hot-in-place recycling and was supposed to extend the life of the section of road on the Kingsway at a much lower cost.

After the project was shut down, Crupi made several allegations about city staff at a town hall meeting Sept. 7. He said there was no valid reason to halt the project and that the city staffers in charge were not qualified.

Foster said his investigation is being made public because Crupi went public with his accusations. He said the complaints he investigated include:

-- Was there a lack of qualifications and objectivity to examine the work?

-- Did an agenda exist at city hall to see this pilot project fail?

Ron Foster said he received formal complaints from Frank Crupi of Toronto-based Road Surface Recycling in July, when the city halted the work. (Photo from video)

-- Was it unfair to force RSR to wait four weeks for testing results?

-- Allegations that the testing of the work was not necessary

-- And that the stop work order not made in good faith or spirit of co-operation.

He said the first thing he looked into was whether there was a valid reason to stop the work.

"Was it warranted? Was it justified?” Foster said.

“Did the city have objective criteria? Did the city have an objective process that was properly administered in fairness to all parties?"

He said the evidence from internal and third-party testing of the asphalt showed it wasn’t up to the standard called for in the contract with the city.


"The documents really told a different story,” Foster said.

“Those documents included contract documents and field inspection notes and documentation about the performance of RSR during paving."

While Crupi aimed his criticism at the female managers working on the project, Foster said the decision to halt the work was a collective one.

“We concluded that … the decision to issue a stop work order, it wasn’t the decision of an individual, it was a collective decision by the team administering the contract,” he said.

“The team had no fewer than seven individuals and they were all competent with decades of experience.”

In addition to Foster’s report, three city councillors who attended the Sept. 7 public meeting are being investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner.

Read the full report here. Top Stories

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