Embattled UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt heading to court for driving-related incident

The political fallout after MLA Derek Fildebrandt steps down from United Conservative Party
WATCH: Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt joins Global Calgary to discuss the resignation of UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt.

Derek Fildebrandt, the United Conservative Party (UCP) MLA currently on a leave of absence in connection with mounting questions over expenses related to his work as a politician, is also facing an unrelated legal challenge, according to court records.

Fildebrandt has been charged with failing to report an accident and is expected to appear in court on Sept. 6.

According to court records, the alleged offence took place in Edmonton but further details are not known.

A spokesperson for the UCP said Fildebrandt would not be commenting on the matter. However, the UCP’s interim leader, Nathan Cooper, provided a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“This matter is currently before Alberta’s traffic court and as such, it would be inappropriate to comment before it has been resolved.”

Just last week, news came out that Fildebrandt had been renting out his taxpayer-subsidized apartment in Edmonton on Airbnb. Fildebrandt responded to critics by saying his actions were “compliant with the rules” but that he would donate money towards the province’s debt and not let “smear distract from real issues.”

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READ MORE: Brian Jean speaks out as Derek Fildebrandt expense scandal widens: ‘It was the wrong thing to do’

Then on Monday, documents emerged suggesting Fildebrandt claimed reimbursement for both restaurant expenses and a daily meal allowance – or per diem – for the same meals on multiple occasions. Fildebrandt described the irregularities as “errors” and said he takes full responsibility for the discrepancy.

The Legislative Assembly Office said the speaker will be reviewing the nine alleged incidents of double claims.

READ MORE: Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt accused of claiming meal expenses twice

Watch below: On Aug. 14, 2017, Kim Smith filed this report about Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt coming under fire for allegedly making questionable meal expense claims.

MLA Derek Fildebrandt accused of claiming meal expenses twice
MLA Derek Fildebrandt accused of claiming meal expenses twice

Fildebrandt’s driving-related charge relates to Section 69(2)(a) of Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act which stipulates the driver of a vehicle “involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle” should stop at the scene and find and notify the owner of the other vehicle as soon as possible and provide them with their license information. If the owner cannot be found, the law says a driver can leave a note in a “conspicuous place in or on the unattended vehicle.”

Under the Traffic Safety Act, failing to report an accident results in the loss of three demerit points as well as the possibility of a fine. It is not considered a criminal offence.

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