A City of Toronto employee was charged with fraud Wednesday for allegedly asking residents to pay for an otherwise free water pressure upgrade grant.

The city approached Toronto police in January after receiving complaints accusing one of its employees of trying to scam money after checking their water pressure, said Toronto police Det. Sgt. Jim Farrell.

Under a city-sponsored program, homes with low water pressure qualify for a grant if their pressure flows at a rate of less than 15 litres per minute.

Working as a water maintenance worker, the accused offered residents a guarantee they would qualify for the grant if they gave him $400, said Farrell. The accused was eventually reported to the city.

“We’re sure there are other people out there who paid and didn’t realize it was a service provided by the city,” Farrell said.

Gordon Gautreau, 47, of Toronto, is charged with three counts of receiving secret commission, a charge laid when an agent corruptly accepts an award on behalf of its principal actor.