More fines levied by election commissioner in UCP leadership race
A sixth person has been charged in the ongoing investigation into Jeff Callaway’s 2017 bid for the UCP leadership race.
The Office of the Election Commissioner has been investigating Callaway’s leadership campaign for months and shows no sign of letting up now that Jason Kenney is premier.
On Thursday, the commissioner fined Amy Davies $3,000 for contributing that same amount to Callaway “with funds given or furnished by another person.”
Amy Davies is the former spouse of Callaway’s former campaign manager Cameron Davies, according to Cameron Davies’s lawyer Lindsay Amantea.
Cameron Davies himself was fined $15,000 by the commissioner in February for obstruction of an investigation.
To date, the commissioner has levied $49,000 in fines in relation to the Callaway leadership campaign. So far, $14,800 has been paid.
Callaway’s leadership bid has been dogged by allegations it was a kamikaze campaign with the sole purpose of targeting Kenney’s main opponent, Brian Jean. Callaway ultimately dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Kenney.
Emails released to local media, including Global News, almost two months ago show ongoing contact during the 2017 leadership race between the Kenney and Callaway campaigns. They suggest Kenney staffers provided strategic direction, attack ads, speaking notes, speeches and media support to the Callaway campaign.
Throughout the 2019 Alberta general election campaign, Kenney denied involvement in the scheme.
The RCMP have confirmed they are looking into allegations of possible wrongdoing in connection with the Callaway campaign. In late March, Kenney said a UCP lawyer had reached out to the RCMP.
Asked for a response to the latest fine, UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington said the party expects all Albertans to abide by election financing laws.
“We are not provided any information by the Election Commissioner about these rulings beyond what is publicly available on the Commissioner’s website,” Harrington said in a statement.
“The Party plays no role in the collection or disclosure of donations to leadership contestants. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Premier, or his former leadership campaign.”
The Alberta NDP, which was relegated to opposition status following the spring election, is asking for answers in relation to the leadership race and calling for a special prosecutor to oversee any police investigation into allegations of voter fraud in the 2017 leadership race.
-with files from Global News’ Adam MacVicar and Phil Heidenreich
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