Police investigating employee theft complaint at Penticton landfill

Alleged metal thief works for private company that just had its contract renewed last week

Police are investigating an allegation of metal theft by an employee of a company that just last week had its contract renewed to provide services at the Campbell Mountain Landfill.

Dan Ashton, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, said the allegation came to light “a few months ago” and the matter was turned over to the RCMP.

CHBC News broke the story Tuesday, and reported the employee, identified as Wayne Wedhorn, had for years allegedly been taking copper from the metal recycling pile and selling it on his own. In effect, he is alleged to have stolen from the RDOS, which sells metal and other recyclable material to recoup costs.

Ashton said the RDOS board will discuss the allegation at its next board meeting May 17. He expects board members will decide that, “If criminal charges are due, that they be proceeded with, and that we get restitution.”

“This is taxpayer money and taxpayers need to be compensated for the loss,” Ashton said.

Wedhorn works for SSG Holdings. The Maple Ridge-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Last Thursday, the RDOS agreed to renew a five-year deal with SSG Holdings worth $525,000 plus taxes to operate and maintain equipment at Campbell Mountain just outside Penticton.

Ashton does not expect the allegation to sink the deal.

“This is an employee,” he said, “and I would expect the company would be dealing with this appropriately.”

At that same meeting, the RDOS board also agreed to ink two other five-year landfill agreements. It awarded a $173,000 deal to B&B Group Ventures Inc. for its services at the Oliver landfill, while Wildstone Construction and Engineering got a $389,000 contract to handle duties at the site in Okanagan Falls.