Justice With Dignity - Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers


Kimberly Rogers Inquest Alerts

KIMBERLY ROGERS INQUEST Report: 2nd week
October 24, 2002


October 24

Most of the day was taken up by two pharmacists, going over in great detail the exact number of Amitriptyline tablets Kimberly Rogers received in the three months before her death. With so much time being spent on issues related to the prescribing and dispensing of medication, it seems likely that the jury may be asked to make recommendations about putting more controls on prescription medications.

Near the end of the day the Eligibility Review Officer who discovered that Kimberly Rogers was attending Cambrian College, cancelled her benefits and referred her file to the police, started her testimony. She explained that in September, 1999, OW offices were given access to the database of the Ministry of Education and Training, so for the first time they could automatically find out who was enrolled in universities and colleges. Immediately Sudbury OW found out that Kimberly Rogers had attended since 1996.

The ERO called the Financial aid office at Cambrian to confirm her attendance, and cancelled her welfare assistance. It was the fact that she was attending post-secondary education that made her ineligible. The overpayment was not actually calculated until May, 2000, when Ms. Rogers reapplied for assistance after finishing her social work program. At that point, the ERO states, she determined that there was intent to commit fraud, and referred the matter to police.

The ERO went to Ms. Rogers’ court hearing expecting to be a witness, but found out when she got there that Ms. Rogers was pleading guilty. At the time of the sentencing the judge said he’d heard of “zero tolerance” (the lifetime ban), and wondered if it applied to Ms. Rogers. Her defense lawyer said he didn’t know because he’d never heard of it. The Crown didn’t know either, but stated that a person with the expertise was present (the ERO). So the ERO stated that zero tolerance did not apply; Ms. Rogers would be cancelled for three months because her offense was committed before April, 2000.

The ERO was asked if there was any process in place for notifying someone facing fraud charges that they would have assistance cancelled for three months; she said that is a question for the caseworker. The ERO never personally contacted Kimberly Rogers.

Also indicated as an aside during the ERO testimony was the fact that Ms. Rogers had applied for support under the Ontario Disability Support Program.

The ERO’s testimony continues on Friday, October 25, 2002.

 

 

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