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St. Albert mayor explains expenses after being accused of double dipping

St. Albert council discusses Mayor Nolan Crouse's expenses.
St. Albert council discusses Mayor Nolan Crouse's expenses. Quinn Ohler, Global News

EDMONTON – St. Albert mayor Nolan Crouse has been accused of double-dipping when it comes to his expenses.

Councillor Sheena Hughes presented St. Albert city council with a dozen separate incidents where it appears nearly identical claims were made to both the City of St. Albert and the Capital Regional Board (CRB).

“I didn’t want to be sitting on this information,” she said. “It’s not vital to the debate but we need to find a resolution to it.

“It’s not a lot of money, it isn’t. But it was occurring.”

Documents obtained by Hughes show the expenses in question amount to just over $1,500. Most of them appear to be mileage to regional events including a parade in Leduc and meetings with former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel.

Crouse claims it was a mistake that’s been corrected.

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“That’s something that I was doing and, you know what, they were done at different times. Honestly, it was accidental. Honestly.”

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Administration has been asked to look over the expenses of both the city and CRB.

The mayor also received $2,000 a month in wages and a $200 per meeting fee from the CRB. The money was paid not to the mayor himself, but a corporation: Crouse Developments.

Councillor Cam MacKay says that’s an issue with transparency.

“What should have happened is that Mayor Crouse was elected CRB chair, is the pay and benefits should have been publicly disclosed,” he said.

Crouse says the contract with the regional board was set up that way because that’s the way the previous two non-elected chairs were paid. It’s something he says he didn’t think about at the time, but says it’s now been corrected as well.

Now the council will wait to hear from administration to see if anything has been missed.

A motion to have Crouse’s CRB finances reported through the City of St. Albert was postponed to October 20.

With files from Quinn Ohler, Global News