EDMONTON (CP) - A fired executive with Alberta's addiction agency is under police investigation after the auditor general found he used false contracts to feed his gambling habit and lavish lifestyle.

The auditor general revealed today that nearly $635,000 was diverted into five false contracts by Lloyd Carr, who was fired recently as head of the tobacco reduction unit with the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.

Records show cash withdrawals of $156,000, most of the money dispensed at casinos, as well as $91,000 on a new house and $60,000 towards a vehicle.

The probe also found that Carr used false credentials to get hired in 1997 and that the provincial addiction agency failed to check the fact that he had a criminal record.

The report says Carr admitted to having a gambling problem and confirmed his involvement in the five contracts under review, so the RCMP were called in and civil action has begun.

The auditor also found that nearly $200,000 was paid to the Alberta Lung Association and a communications firm, who were unwitting dupes in the scam.

Copyright 2006 Canadian Press