‘Taxpayers deserve better.’ Coun. Joe Magliocca apologizes as council approves audit of his expenses
CALGARY -- Calgary city council has voted unanimously in favour of launching an investigation into Coun. Joe Magliocca’s expenses dating back to 2017.
Magliocca appeared in council and said he supports the investigation but then excused himself from the discussion and did not vote on the matter.
The Ward 2 councillor issued another apology Monday morning, three weeks after first apologizing for making "mistakes" on expenses he submitted from the 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec.
As first reported by Postmedia, receipts through a Freedom of Information request show Magliocca expensed $6,400 while at FCM, more than double what some of his colleagues claimed for the trip. The councillor also claimed to have dined with guests who say they have never met Magliocca.
"Taxpayers deserve better and I am deeply sorry," Magliocca said in a statement Monday.
"I have reviewed all my past expenses since the 2017 Election and have voluntarily repaid my alcohol-related expense I submitted," the statement read. He also encouraged his colleagues to do the same.
The statement does not say the exact amount Magliocca plans to repay, but one document shows the councillor paid back at least $2,640 to the city on Feb. 14.
Magliocca posted online detailed receipts from 2017 and 2018. He says he plans to post the detailed receipts from 2019 soon.
Hundreds of pages of receipts show a range of expenses, including alcohol, meals and a Christmas dinner for his city staff.
For example, a series of seven different receipts submitted from the March 5 to 8, 2018 FCM meeting in Laval, QC shows Magliocca expensed $341.61 on vodka, wine, beer and food at the Hotel Sheraton Laval. The posted receipts do not say who, if anyone, was at the meetings with the councillor.
The city’s auditor will lead the review of Magliocca’s meal and alcohol expenses after the city’s integrity commissioner recused himself because he himself dined with the councillor on the taxpayers’ dime. The auditor will also look into whether any policies need to change to better oversee how councillors’ expenses are tracked and approved.
“What we’re striving for here with this notice of motion is to address some of those policies to see if they’re dated and to make sure we bring our standard in line with what our citizens expect,” said Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who put forth the initial motion.
The auditor could not provide a cost for the investigation and wouldn’t say how long it would take.