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Winnipeg councillor Vivian Santos addresses link to police drug investigation

Point Douglas Councillor Vivian Santos speaks to media. Global News

Winnipeg city councillor Vivian Santos is finally commenting days after police sources told Global News she failed her background clearance check because of a previous link to a police drug investigation.

After refusing repeated requests from Global News for an interview, Santos went to social media Thursday night.

In a statement released on Twitter, Santos said, “I am not a perfect person. I have made some mistakes in my life and I am not embarrassed of my personal story.”

Read more: Winnipeg city councillor off police board because of previous link to drug investigation: sources

Police sources say Santos and her husband were at one point under surveillance as part of a major police drug investigation earlier this year that led to the largest cocaine seizure in the city’s history.

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Jay Santos, a “lifelong family friend” according to Coun. Santos, was charged with drug trafficking in connection with the investigation.

Global News has learned the councillor and her husband have been linked to a second man, who police sources said has also been charged with drug trafficking in another province and was found to be driving cars registered to the councillor’s family.

In her statement, Santos said: “I have had no knowledge of these individuals’ personal issues nor allegations of their improper behaviour. The only truth is that my husband made a trusted mistake of lending out our vehicles to help a friend.”

Read more: Councillor Vivian Santos’ link to alleged drug traffickers is conflict of interest: Ethicist

Santos initially resigned from the board after failing her background check, but then contemplating rescinding that resignation.

In her statement, Santos says: “As of today, I am still a member of the Wpg Police Board, & any replacement would need to be nominated & voted on by city council.”

A Manitoba ethics professor told Global News her previous link to an investigation is a conflict of interest for a police board member and acting deputy mayor.

“The deputy mayor is a different kind of role, just like the police board, so I think she needs to think very seriously whether she can continue to serve,” University of Manitoba professor Neil McArthur said.

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Read her full statement here:

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Click to play video: 'City councillor off police board because of previous link to drug investigation: sources'
City councillor off police board because of previous link to drug investigation: sources

with files from Brittany Greenslade

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