A number of sanctions will be imposed on Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca following a forensic audit into his expense claims since 2017, and the results of the investigation will be passed on to Calgary police.
Council members discussed the findings of the audit behind closed doors Tuesday and voted to release them to police and Alberta’s minister of municipal affairs for further investigation.
Magliocca has been under fire after a Postmedia investigation into his expenses at last year’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City showed he expensed far more than any other councillor.
There was further controversy when the city’s integrity commissioner recused himself from investigating a complaint against Magliocca because the councillor had expensed a lunch the pair shared in July 2019.
In February, city council voted unanimously for a forensic investigation of Magliocca’s expenses.
After reviewing the results of the audit on Tuesday, it was decided council members would issue a letter of reprimand to Magliocca, who will be asked to make a public apology.
He will be ordered to attend training on council expense policies and face a ban on business travel until late 2021.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi described the results as a “consistent pattern of behaviour over a long period of time.”
“At the very best, this is… a real disregard for the rules. At the very worst, this is a pattern of behaviour that I don’t think is befitting of an elected official who should treat every dollar as though it is the dollar of your neighbour,” Nenshi said.
“There is not one incident or two incidents, there are incidents over a long period of time that have to do with travel expenses,” he continued. “This is not, ‘I made a mistake once, I made a mistake twice.’ This is a whole bunch of problematic expenses.”
Nenshi said he was “shocked” by the results.
“There is a report that shows there were many, many ineligible expenses that were charged to the taxpayer. And if you are not going to apologize for that, then you have to ask yourself, what are you doing in public life?” he said.
Political scientist Duane Bratt said it appears the situation was “more than just forgetting who was at your dinner table.”
Bratt said there was “at least … enough smoke here to send it to the police.”
“If the final report comes out with a lot more other details, then that will tell us that there is a pattern of behavior. My guess is that report is going to show that.”
“Without seeing the final report, it is tough. But based on the recommendations and based on sort of some of the comments the mayor has made, I think there is a lot more here. I think he needs to step down now.”
Chestermere city councillor Yvette Kind filed a complaint with Calgary’s integrity commissioner in February after she found out her name was on Magliocca’s Quebec City expense claims.
She told Global News on Wednesday she never met Magliocca for drinks and she’s happy the city has completed the investigation.
“I wanted to set the record straight,” Kind said on Wednesday. “My concern is for taxpayers’ money.”
— With files from Global News’ Heide Pearson,