Salary and expense claims for Pinehouse officials raise eyebrows

After a labourious and lengthy process, reinforced by a review report by Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner in November 2018, the Northern Village of Pinehouse finally provided extensive documentation about the salary and expenses of mayor Mike Natomagan, councilor Conrad Misponas and chief administrative officer (CAO) Martine Smith.  The documents cover the period January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018.

Those documents can be found on Google Drive here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TEWsi6csHEPpUqTvjtmtrBhOiKdrtCSs?usp=sharing

Mayor Natomagan was shown to have been extravagantly compensated for his services, his salary sometimes in excess of $90,000 per year, more than the Mayor of Prince Albert was paid.  This was because his base salary of roughly $60,000 was augmented by $200 per diem whenever he was out of town on business.  In 2014, he was away on business for 99 days, in 2015, for 152 days, and in 2016 for 139 days.  The number dropped to 77 days in 2017, we think because provincial officials began to ask questions.  Many of the mayor’s expense claims were excessive, including lavish meals and frequent golf fees, often with several guests in tow.

Conrad Misponas was compensated as Housing Project Manager for the Village-owned Pinehouse Housing Corporation while also serving on Council.  He and the Village CAO Martine Smith were found to operate within accepted limits for accommodation and meals, although Ms. Smith did not exercise any vigilance over the mayor’s expense claims.  She is the mayor’s step-daughter, so that could explain the lack of scrutiny on her part.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations has launched an inquiry into governance irregularities in Pinehouse.

For more information on salaries and reimbursed expenses for mayor and council click on the following: