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Calgary city council to debate motion referring Carra integrity investigation to province and police

Click to play video: 'Motion to refer Carra integrity investigation to province and police passes first hurdle' Motion to refer Carra integrity investigation to province and police passes first hurdle
WATCH: Two Calgary city councillors have formally asked to have the findings of an investigation into Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra forwarded to the provincial government and police for further review. Adam MacVicar reports – Jul 20, 2022

The findings of an investigation into Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra’s failure to disclose interest in an Inglewood property could soon be sent to the Government of Alberta and Calgary Police for further review.

On Wednesday, the city’s Executive Committee voted unanimously in favour of sending the motion to city council for debate at its next meeting.

The motion from Councillors Jennifer Wyness and Sonya Sharp asks for the findings of the investigation to be sent to Municipal Affairs minister Ric McIver and the Calgary Police Service (CPS) to review.

The motion also calls on CPS to refer the matter to another police body to avoid any conflict of interest.

“I think as an elected official, you’re kept to a higher standard,” Sharp told reporters following the meeting. “I would expect that this would be done for anyone who went through… any sort of sanction that would’ve happened to them that came out with some findings.”

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Read more: ‘I screwed up’: Gian-Carlo Carra speaks out on integrity commissioner’s investigation

Earlier this month, Carra was sanctioned by the city’s integrity commissioner after an investigation found Carra failed to include an Inglewood property on his public disclosure form, which all city councillors are required to do.

Ellen-Anne O’Donnell found Carra and his wife made a $300,000 down payment on the home back in 2015, but “there was no written agreement or document of any kind” setting out the terms of the transaction.

Both Carra’s failure to include his interest in the property on his disclosure form, and the lack of a “signed and documented financial agreement” are cited in the motion from Sharp and Wyness.

As part of the imposed sanctions, Carra must write a letter of apology to Calgarians for failing to comply with the disclosure policy and must attend training with the ethics advisor within 30 days — sanctions he said he accepts.

Carra said he plans to deliver his apology at the next meeting of city council on July 26 — the same meeting at which council will debate the motion to refer the findings to the province and police.

“I’m glad that we live in a world where our politicians are held to high ethical standards. I’m very pleased with the integrity commissioner’s findings regarding a whole host of allegations regarding the fact that I was just seeking to work with my neighbours to build a home for my family,” Carra said on Tuesday.

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He was not present when the vote took place at committee on Wednesday afternoon, after attending the meeting virtually during the morning session.

When asked about the motion from Sharp and Wyness on Tuesday, Carra said he had no comment on the matter.

Read more: Wyness wants integrity investigation into Calgary councillor referred to province and police

Prior to the debate at committee, Mayor Jyoti Gondek told reporters she read the integrity commissioner’s findings but wouldn’t say whether she felt the matter should be forwarded to the provincial government or police.

“The report she gave us is fulsome, it is incredibly clear. She investigated the complaint that was before her which was whether or not a disclosure had been made properly,” Gondek said. “So I’m not here to question the integrity commissioner.  The integrity commissioner is here to make sure we are all behaving according to our code of conduct.”

Lori Williams, an associate professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University, questioned what a police investigation will accomplish, and added that the situation is a “lose-lose” for Carra.

“Even if he’s found not to have committed any legal infraction, I don’t know if that is going to offset the attention that has been paid to it at this stage,” Williams told Global News. “The responsibility lies solely with Coun. Carra. He could’ve avoided this by simply following the rules and should’ve known better; but investigating it further won’t necessarily clear things up.”

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