Calgary Coun. Joe Magliocca has been charged by the Alberta RCMP with fraud and breach of trust.
The RCMP announced the charges Friday afternoon: one charge each for fraud under $ 5,000 and breach of trust. A spokesman for the RCMP told Global News that breaches of trust taxes are in a financial claims context.
In an RCMP release, they said the Calgary Police Service sent the RCMP a report on the incidents believed to have taken place in Calgary.
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The RCMP’s unit for federal and serious organized crime / economic crime in Edmonton conducted a complex investigation through much of the pandemic, including interviews with more than 70 witnesses and reviewing large amounts of records.
Investigators also coordinated with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Services specialized prosecutor.
Magliocca has been summoned to a Calgary court on October 15.
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In a statement to Global News, Magliocca’s lawyer said:
“The timing of this case – literally days before the election – smells of political motivation,” Greg Dunn said.
“This is a civil case involving an unintentional error of less than $ 4,000 that my client has already voluntarily repaid. Our client is innocent and will strongly contest the charges. ”
Magliocca’s expenses have been under police investigation since July 2020 following a forensic audit that showed he earned thousands of dollars in unjustified travel and host claims.
The outgoing mayor Naheed Nenshi said it was necessary for elected officials to have the faith and trust of the citizens – and Magliocca’s actions – led the city council to revise their own spending and create a new spending policy.
“However, this points to the need for a stronger sanctioning authority for city councils,” Nenshi said in a statement to Global News. “The province of Alberta refused to take action on this issue, and now it is in the courts in the middle of an election.
“We should have been able to act stronger before.”
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Magliocca has since repaid the nearly $ 10,000 and participated in training in the Council’s expenditure policy. Other council sanctions included deprivation of the deputy mayor’s duties and prevented him from submitting travel expenses until the end of his term.
Magliocca is seeking re-election in Section 2. Calgary’s general election is on October 18.
Voting in Section 2 is underway
Prior voting in all Calgary departments has been underway since Monday, and that could be a problem, according to MRU political scientist Duane Bratt.
“How many people may have forgotten this during the campaign?” Said Bratt.
Referring to comments from Magliocca about speaking more to the case after the RCMP investigation, Bratt said it was Magliocca’s decision to wait until the last minute – September 10 – to throw his hat in the ring.
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“I think he has also calculated that there are a number of different candidates, he does not have to get 50 percent plus one,” Bratt said. “He just needs a plurality and that he could win this.”
Section 2 candidates took to social media to express their opinions on the situation.
“Joe Magliocca, full of controversy, has let us all down,” Francis Aranha said in an online video, adding that he has heard residents feel let down by Magliocca.
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“The RCMP has made a decision, now the voters have to make a choice,” Jennifer Wyness wrote on Twitter. “We need a councilor who first listens to the needs of the community, gathers people and responds to the needs of the residents.”
Kim Tyers reiterated his call for Magliocca’s immediate resignation and withdrawal from the election.
“Today’s news of the indictment shows that Joe Magliocca is unfit to hold public office and is undeserved for the trust that Ward 2 voters had in him,” Tyers said in a statement.
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