A commercial crane inspector from Fruitvale facing 49 charges of fraud and uttering a forged document did business in Nelson, RCMP say.
According to Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, an arrest warrant has been issued for Paddy Gene Doherty, 37, who police are now trying to find.
They allege he inspected commercially operated heavy machinery — including cranes, forklifts, and garage hoists — without valid certification.
The original complaint was filed in May 2009 that Doherty had conducted inspections at 27 businesses in 10 communities throughout the Kootenays, including in Nelson, Castlegar, and Creston.
Doherty is accused of using the forged signature of the complaintant and a forged engineer’s stamp.
“In doing so Doherty also defrauded these businesses out of approximately $40,000 for the inspection fees charged,” Moskaluk says.
The offences are believed to have occurred between January and June 2009.
Moskaluk says the charges are the rest of a complaint received from an engineer “and the tenacity of one RCMP investigator.”
Cranes, forklifts, and hoists are typically inspected annually. Inspectors are certified by the Canadian General Standards Board send their reports to a professional engineer to review and provide a stamped certificate.
Moskaluk says checks on Doherty’s certification showed that it expired at the end of 2008.
“More alarming then the monetary loss to the businesses, is the risk to the public and workers safety, considering that in some of the cases, the re-inspections by a certified inspector failed the equipment that had previously been approved by Doherty,” Moskaluk said in a release.
He added that “it might not be in the public interest” to lay further charges against Doherty given the large number he already faces, but for public and workplace safety, he suggests any businesses who had inspections by Doherty during the period he wasn’t certified to do so consider having their equipment re-inspected.