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Magliocca charged with fraud, breach of trust by RCMP following expenses investigation

Click to play video: 'Calgary candidate for re-election Joe Magliocca charged after RCMP investigation'
Calgary candidate for re-election Joe Magliocca charged after RCMP investigation
WATCH: Calgary Ward 2 candidate and councillor Joe Maggliocca has been charged with fraud and breach of trust by the RCMP. Adam MacVicar reports. – Oct 8, 2021

Calgary Coun. Joe Magliocca has been charged by Alberta RCMP for fraud and breach of trust.

RCMP announced the charges Friday afternoon: one charge each of fraud under $5,000 and breach of trust. An RCMP spokesperson told Global News that the breach of trust charges are in a financial claims context.

In an RCMP release, they said the Calgary Police Service sent the RCMP a report alleging the incidents that were believed to have occurred in Calgary.

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The RCMP’s federal and serious organized crime / financial crimes unit in Edmonton conducted a complex investigation through much of the pandemic, including interviews with more than 70 witnesses and reviewing large volumes of records.

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The investigators also coordinated with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service’s specialized prosecutions branch.

Magliocca has been summoned to be in a Calgary court on Oct. 15.

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In a statement to Global News, Magliocca’s lawyer said:

“The timing of this matter — literally days before the election — reeks of political motivation,” Greg Dunn said.

“This is a civil matter involving an unintentional mistake of less than $4,000 for which my client has already voluntarily repaid. Our client is innocent and will vigorously contest the allegations.”

Magliocca’s expenses have been under police investigation since July 2020, following an forensic audit that showed he made thousands of dollars in ineligible travel and hosting claims.

Outgoing Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the need for elected officials to have the faith and trust of citizens — and Magliocca’s actions — led city council to audit their own expenses and create a new expense policy.

“However, this points to the need for stronger sanctioning authority for city councils,” Nenshi said in a statement to Global News. “The Province of Alberta refused to take action on this matter and now it’s before the courts, in the midst of an election.

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“We should have been able to take stronger action sooner.”

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Magliocca has since repaid the nearly $10,000 and attended training on council’s expense policy. Other council sanctions included stripping him of deputy mayor duties and barring him from submitting travel expenses until the end of his term.

Magliocca is seeking re-election in Ward 2. Calgary’s general election is on Oct. 18.

Ward 2 voting underway

Advance voting in all Calgary wards has been underway since Monday, and that could be a problem, according to MRU political scientist Duane Bratt.

“How many people may have forgotten about this during the campaign?” Bratt said.

Referencing comments from Magliocca about speaking more to the matter following the RCMP investigation, Bratt said it was Magliocca’s decision to wait until the last minute — Sept. 10 — to throw his hat into the ring.

Click to play video: 'Calgary city councillor Joe Magliocca silent on holiday travel'
Calgary city councillor Joe Magliocca silent on holiday travel

“I think he also calculated that there’s a number of different candidates, he doesn’t need to get 50 per cent plus one,” Bratt said. “He just needs a plurality, and that he could win this.”

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Ward 2 candidates took to social media to express their opinions on the situation.

“Joe Magliocca, who is full of controversies, has let us all down,” Francis Aranha said in an online video, adding he’s heard residents feel let down by Magliocca.

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“The RCMP have made a decision, now voters get to make a choice, “Jennifer Wyness wrote on Twitter. “We need a councillor who listens to the community needs first, brings people together, and is responsive to the needs of residents.”

Kim Tyers repeated her call for Magliocca’s immediate resignation and withdrawal from the election.

“Today’s news of charges show that Joe Magliocca is unfit to hold public office and is undeserving of the trust that was placed in him by Ward 2 voters,” Tyers said in a statement.

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