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Chestermere mayor slams what he calls false allegations made about staff abuse amid other investigations

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Chestermere Mayor Jeff Colvin says people are pushing their own political agendas following an accusation that a city staffer slapped another employee.

“It seems that people are making up false rumours and it seems they have their own political agenda,” said Colvin in an interview with CTV News.

“Our council is looking into it though, because it’s our job to do that, but unfortunately we’re no strangers to people making wild goose chases.”

CTV News received several tips that an employee was slapped in public earlier this month by a staffer.

“It’s just not that serious,” said Colvin.

“We definitely want to from our side, and in discussing this with our HR department and staff, it’s not something that has gotten to that significance. Where we found the significance, is what’s been propagated from outside sources.”

The mayor says council will look into it.

The ministry of municipal affairs is also aware of the allegation.

It’s the latest issue in a series of missteps by the city as three separate investigations were launched last year.

Council voted to look into its own “irregular” finances last summer, hiring a third party to review $600,000 severance packages handed out to two former city employees.

The province also began looking into Chestermere’s governance after three councillors — Sandy Johal-Watt, Shannon Dean and Ritesh Narayan — sent complaints to the province in 2022 about the actions of Colvin, Deputy Mayor Mel Foat and councillors Stephen Hanley and Blaine Funk.

Council had also ordered another third-party investigation into its own utilities company, formerly known as Chestermere Utilities Inc., last year after audits found millions of dollars unaccounted for or missing.

A provincial probe into code-of-conduct infractions against city council was also launched.

An inspection by the department of municipal affairs in December was criticized by city hall according to the mayor, because the report possibly exposed what the investigation found.

Council sent it back to the province.

“Our goal with this inspection has always been to help Chestermere city council function properly in the service of Chestermere residents,” said Alex Puddifant, chief of staff for the office of the minister of municipal affairs.

“The department of municipal affairs has a process that is based on procedural fairness that we have been following and will continue to follow. We will be updating the citizens of Chestermere on the status of the inspection in the coming weeks, as the next step in this process.” 

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