Calgary city council unanimously voted to send a Calgary Police Commission report about Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu’s police misconduct investigation to the provincial government.
At a special meeting on Tuesday, council agreed to share the report with Premier Danielle Smith and ask the province to determine whether further action should be taken. Council also asked the province to determine what action should be taken to allow the public to continue to reach out about this matter.
This comes after the Calgary Police Commission found that some policies and processes were not properly followed by the Calgary Police Service following a sexual assault allegation against Chu, who was an officer at the time.
The report stated that the commission does not have the authority to evaluate whether a criminal investigation or criminal charges are warranted, nor do they have the authority to determine Chu’s fitness for public office.
Chu repeated a statement that was posted on Twitter on Monday evening.
“A statement of claim is not a finding of fact, and as the name suggests it is a claim that has not been proven (in court),” Chu said.
“I again refer all to my October 21, 2021 statement… This is a distraction or deflection from the real issues. The real issues being the never-ending property tax increases, LRT safety and downtown street safety.”
Mayor Jyoti Gondek told reporters on Tuesday that there’s not a lot the city can do with the report and she looks forward to seeing what the province will do.
“As we were shaping the contents of this special meeting of council, I was in contact with various members of the provincial government. I think it is courteous to give them a heads up,” the mayor said
Chu removed from deputy mayor roster
Chu has also been removed from the deputy mayor roster because Gondek cannot chair the Dec. 6 council meeting, which coincides with the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Chu would have to give a remark about gender-based violence at the start of the meeting.
Councillors Andre Chabot and Courtney Walcott will serve as deputy mayors in December 2022 and May 2023, respectively.
It also comes after Chu allegedly took a photo of Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s license plate in a secure location, which she said jeopardized her safety.
“This has jeopardized my safety and created fear of reprisal for speaking out,” Gondek said at the meeting.
Chu agreed to remove his name from the roster and apologized at Tuesday’s council meeting, saying he accepts his “punishment” but did not elaborate on his reasoning. He said he spoke with the city’s ethics commissioner about this issue.
Gondek, however, did not accept his apology and said she did not make a complaint to the ethics commissioner.
“Knowing what I know about Chu’s behaviour… I can’t trust that individual to represent our city. I really can’t have him bringing initial remarks for a day we’re marking violence against women,” Gondek told reporters.
Gondek also said she wants Chu to resign.
Carra’s integrity investigation not forwarded to province
Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp’s motion to reconsider forwarding Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra’s integrity investigation to the province for review was defeated on Tuesday.
The motion asked for the findings of the investigation be sent to the Municipal Affairs Minister Rebecca Schulz and the Calgary Police Service for further review.
However, the findings will not be forwarded because the motion did not receive enough votes. The motion needed 10 votes to pass because it required a two-thirds majority to pass, but only 9 councillors voted in favour.
Councillors Kourtney Penner and Courtney Walcott lambasted the decision to bring back Carra’s investigation, saying it disrespects sexual assault victims given the special meeting was called to discuss Chu’s misconduct when he was a police officer.
“If this came at a different time I would have agreed but I can’t at this time… When we start to stack things on top of each other, it lessens the significance of the issue we’re dealing with,” Penner said.
“It is deeply insulting to those of us who are victims and I just can’t let it stand. I can’t support this, because we cannot mix things up and we cannot send mixed messages to Calgarians.”
However, councillors Sharp and Jennifer Wyness argued that council needs to be consistent with which reports it decides to send to the province for review.
“We’re just trying to show consistency for Calgarians, because Calgarians don’t trust us right now and we need to show them little ways that we are listening to them,” Wyness said.