The move is unlikely change his job status at the city, where he is under investigation following what council described as an “allegation of significant concern.”
Edward Tanaka, vice president of ethics at accounting watchdog Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPABC), yesterday confirmed that Mr. Mema has been accepted as a member.
That means he can now legally use the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation after his name when signing financial documents in this province.
It also means he is now subject to direct regulation by CPABC and its complaints process.
Mr. Mema applied for BC membership after News Nanaimo reported in January that he had been improperly using the designation since before joining the city in 2015.
Although registered as a CPA in Alberta, he was never a member of the BC body and so was not legally authorized to use the designation while working at the City of Nanaimo.
Mr. Mema has never explained why he failed to register in BC yet signed various city financial reports as a CPA.
Bringing his accounting credentials into compliance with provincial law addresses only one of Mr. Mema’s employment issues, sources said.
He is currently suspended with pay amid an internal investigation by city lawyers who have been probing allegations made against him at a closed-door council meeting more than a month ago.
It’s understood of that part of the investigation centres on Mr. Mema using his city credit card to pay for personal expenses that he was later unable to repay in full.
Investigators are also reviewing Mr. Mema’s role in spending by city manager Tracy Samra, who is currently on administrative leave following her arrest on allegations of uttering threats on Jan. 31.
Mr. Mema first earned his credentials for the CPA designation in 2014 by completing the Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) program while he was CFO for the District of Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.
Sechelt paid about $30,000 towards his CPA education, including several flights, hotel stays, car hires and meal expenses for trips to Alberta to attend executive training sessions.
Last September, Sechelt sued Mr. Mema seeking repayment of almost $10,000 related to allegedly personal expenses he charged to a corporate credit card.
Mr. Mema has not responded to the claim in court.