Coun. Joe Magliocca owes another $1,200 to Calgary taxpayers: report

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Coun. Joe Magliocca owes another $1,200 to Calgary taxpayers: report
A new report in front of the Calgary city committee shows Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca owes more money stemming from questionable expenses over the last three years. Adam MacVicar reports. – Feb 15, 2021

Councillor Joe Magliocca still owes $1,200 stemming from expenses he claimed since 2017, according to a new report.

The report was brought to the Coordinating Committee of the Councillors’ Office (CCCO) in January 2021.

The city’s priorities and finance committee will discuss the issue at a meeting on Tuesday.

The latest numbers come from $5,830.63 in hosting costs Magliocca expensed to the city between 2017 and 2019, showing more than $3,300 were ineligible.

According to the administration, people who Magliocca claimed to be entertaining either couldn’t be contacted or denied the meetings.

City policy states that councillors are required to provide the names of any officials hosted while expensing receipts.

The Ward 2 councillor has already paid more than $2,100 to taxpayers, leaving the rest of the tab to be paid by March 31.

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Global News reached out to Magliocca for comment but did not receive a response.

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“It’s absolutely critical for council to get this right. We need to demonstrate that we are being accountable with taxpayer dollars,” said Jyoti Gondek, the city councillor for Ward 3 and a member of the city’s priorities and finance committee.

“We need to demonstrate transparency. And when there’s discrepancies, those need to be addressed.”

Last October, a report from the city council’s expenses working group looked at the airfare upgrades for Magliocca.

The committee ordered Magliocca to repay $2,700 for those flight upgrades. At the time, Magliocca said he was in the process of repaying the city.

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In July 2020, external auditor Pricewaterhouse Cooper did a forensic audit of Magliocca’s expenses during his current term.

PWC found Magliocca’s net travel claims totalled $36,687.10. The report said $20,782.38 in expenses were in line with councillor policies. The amount found to be out of line with policy was $5,657.

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Magliocca has since repaid the majority of those costs, which included personal meals, hosting expenses and room accommodations.

The expenses are also currently part of an RCMP investigation, after city council voted to forward the audit’s findings to police.

Magliocca was also banned from expensing travel costs for the remainder of his term, and was presented a letter of reprimand from the mayor.

He apoligized twice last year, but hasn’t issued an apology since he was directed to as part of the sanctions issued by council last summer.

“When the issue is being investigated, everybody should not talk about it, because you don’t want to influence any kind of investigation or police investigation,” said Ward 4 city councillor Sean Chu, who also sits on the priorities and finance committee.

“It has shone a light on some of the real gaps within (councillor) expense reporting,” Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt said. “Much of what they’ve relied on has been the honour system, and the honour system works well until it doesn’t.”

The city is working on an overhaul to its expense policy, after Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart asked the city for permission to allow city staff to oversee expenses until the current policies can be updated.

“We need to have an interim solution while we are doing the work so that we can be fully forthright and transparent to the citizens of Calgary,” Colley-Urquhart said in December.

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–With files from Global News’ Tiffany Lizée

Click to play video: 'Calgary Coun. Joe Magliocca asked to repay $2,700 in flight upgrades'
Calgary Coun. Joe Magliocca asked to repay $2,700 in flight upgrades

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