Kenney calls on Chu to resign from Calgary council if allegations proven true
Should allegations of sexual impropriety with a minor levelled against Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu be proven correct then he should do the "honourable thing" and resign, Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday.
"First of all, let me say that sexual impropriety with a minor is appalling, but especially if that misconduct comes from someone in a position of power like a police officer, so this is a very serious matter," said Kenney during Tuesday's provincial COVID-19 briefing.
"Clearly there are serious issues that need to be answered fully and transparently about what happened, about what legal, criminal or disciplinary measures were taken, and if there was a failure in the system, we need to know what that was."
Kenney said the province does not have the power to unilaterally remove a locally-elected city councillor from office.
"If these reports are true, and I've only had a summary of the news reports on this … at the very least if he's denying these claims then he owes the public proof of that denial," said Kenney.
"If these claims are true and these revelations are correct, then I think it would be the honourable thing to step aside."
Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek called on Chu to resign from council on Tuesday in the wake of the allegations.
“There are some grave circumstances around that candidate being in a position of authority, and it's something that we will need to address as a council immediately,” she said following Monday night’s victory.
According to the transcript of a disciplinary hearing, it was alleged that "on or about Aug. 12, 1997, Const. Chu became intimately involved with the young person who was 16 years old at the time,” and she had met him, “while he was on duty, in uniform, and in a position of authority.”
Chu was 34 years old at the time and admitted to “caressing” the girl on the leg in a public restaurant while in uniform. And then while off-duty and not in uniform, he told the hearing he “participated in consensual sexual foreplay” with the girl in the living room of his home.
No criminal charges were laid, but according to two Law Enforcement Review Board (LERB) decisions, Chu was investigated by CPS’ professional standards section for allegedly bringing the girl into his home in those early morning hours 24 years ago, and for alleged misconduct in his actions with the girl. The documents also reveal that the teen alleged Chu sexually assaulted her.
Chu, who served as a member of CPS from 1992 to 2013, was charged with two counts of discreditable conduct and was convicted of one count. The internal documents state that the conviction was in relation to him touching the girl’s leg. He was given a letter of reprimand on his CPS file for five years, which expired in 2008.
In an earlier statement to CTV, Chu said that during the investigation he underwent a polygraph test, at his request, which confirmed his account. He says, "It is not unusual for police officers to be subject of unsubstantiated complaints, but a complete and thorough process was conducted which found this complaint to be without merit.”
Chu’s statement also says he has contacted the Calgary Police Association to obtain the documents and was advised on Oct. 12 that their records were destroyed in the 2013 Calgary flood.
He says he believes that the timing of the circulation of the documents of the allegations is suspicious given it is coming out right before a municipal election where he will be seeking a third term as the Ward 4 councillor.
Some documents related to the case surfaced on social media last week, prompting various media reports.
CTV News has tried to reach Chu for comment on the allegations along with the election results, but all requests have gone unanswered.
Chu did speak with The Western Standard on Tuesday about the incident in 1997, which only surfaced after advance polls closed.
‘I'm sorry, I didn't mean any harm,” he told the online publication.
Chu was re-elected on Monday by a margin of 52 votes. His closest competitor, DJ Kelly, has called for a recount.
“We need more transparency and accountability in council all around,” said Kelly.
“If they can enact some of those kinds of things, I think we’ll be a lot better off and see a lot less folks like her having to go through this.”
Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver echoed a similar sentiment as Kenney on Tuesday.
"If the worst of the allegation turn out to be true then yes, he should resign, but we still need to do our due diligence and find out what the facts are," he said.
Kenney said he has asked McIver to get "more detailed legal advice on this."
"We will see if there are any authorities we have to deal with a situation like this because any sexual abuse of a minor, particularly by someone in a position of authority, is something that none of us can accept," he said.
Janis Irwin, the NDP Critic for Status of Women, has called on Kenney to order an inquiry into the matter.
With files from CTV Calgary's Tyson Fedor