'A crisis of confidence': Farkas and Chu push for forensic audit of city councillor expenses
Published Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:31AM MST Last Updated Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:55PM MST
CALGARY -- A special meeting of council has been called for Wednesday afternoon in the wake of an expenses scandal and several motions calling for a closer look at Coun. Joe Magliocca’s spending.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first time for council to speak to the city’s integrity commissioner since he stepped away from an investigation into Magliocca’s expenses.
Sal LoVecchio recused himself from looking into claims that Magliocca was improperly expensing meals because LoVecchio himself had a $163 lunch with the councillor on the taxpayers’ dime last year.
“Many of my colleagues have been asking questions about the ongoing investigation into the expenses of one councillor as well as what we do, given that the integrity commissioner has done the right thing and recused himself,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.
The city’s manager, solicitor and ethics advisor will also be at the meeting, which will mostly take place behind closed doors.
“If we decide tomorrow on a way forward, of course that would be made public,” Nenshi said.
The special meeting will come a day after councillors Jeromy Farkas and Sean Chu announced they would be asking for a third-party auditor to look into all of council’s expenses from the last three years.
“We figured that, given the severity of this issue, the audit should be extended to every member of council,” Coun. Farkas said.
“It’s very clear that we’re facing a crisis of confidence and action is going to be required of every single member of council to address this.”
Eight of the 15 members of city council have already signed on to a notice of motion calling for a forensic investigation into Joe Magliocca’s 2019 expenses from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in Quebec City.
Councillor Magliocca has not spoken publicly since apologizing in council chambers more than two weeks ago.