A special meeting of city council can Coun. Sean Chu’s scheduled role as deputy mayor for December in light of his discrediting actions as a Calgary police officer in the 1990s, one of his council colleagues said Monday.
The meeting Tuesday will also “reconsider … the Calgary Police Commission’s review of the 1997 police misconduct investigation” into Chu, said the notice for the gathering issued Monday.
Media reports that emerged just before election day in October last year revealed that Ward 4 Coun. Chu was reprimanded inappropriate physical contact with a 16-year-old girl in 1997 while he was a police official.
Chu was found guilty of discreditable conduct under the Police Acting at the time, but he was never criminally charged.
After the election, Mayor Jyoti Gondek refused to swear in Chu with the other 13 council members. He is also through his fellow council members who refused to allow him to join any standing policy committees.
But late last month, the council voted overwhelmingly in favor of putting Chu on the community development committee with only Count. Gian-Carlo Carra opposed it.
Carra said the case has not yet been fully resolved.
Last August, the Calgary Police Commission concluded that the CPS had erred in its investigation of Chu, mainly over delays in completing it and how it communicated with the female victim.
But it also said that these lapses do not affect the investigation’s outcome.
On Monday, ward 10 gr. Andre Chabot said Mayor Jyoti Gondek called the meeting and added he agreed with removing Chu from the role of deputy mayor, especially if his colleague filled in for Gondek to represent the city in national functions.
“It might be more appropriate if we get someone else to do it,” Chabot said.
“It has more to do with perception than reality. There is no point in creating conflict.”
But Chabot, who was one of six councilors who opposed keeping Chu off committees a year ago, said he does not support any revisiting of the Calgary Police Commission’s review of the CPS investigation into Chu’s conduct in the 1990s not.
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“I’m kind of tired of rehashing things in the past based on today’s lens,” he said.
“It’s fully investigated as far as I know … not everyone is perfect and most people have skeletons in their past – I wouldn’t say I’m perfect.”
He said the tone of the meeting’s notice meant that the council ran the risk of improperly intervening in police commission matters.
“We have two (council) members appointed to the police commission to provide input, but in the end the police commission makes the decision,” Chabot said.
“We are not, as a council, supposed to influence the law.”
Last August, the police service said its handling of the Chu case would not be repeated today, following a review of its protocols.
“The complaint process dating back to 1997 in this case would not meet our current standards or expectations around compassionate and professional communication with a complainant, especially in this case a juvenile,” the police said.
“As a result of this work we now have a Professional Standards section apparent defined processes and expectations for the ways in which investigations are conducted, management oversight of file review and the ways in which we communicate with complainants.“
The commission said the police service’s criminal investigation on the matter and his decision not to press charges against Chu was outside his mandate, but the recommendations he made have already been acted upon by the police service, which he described as fully cooperating with his review.
More to come…