Provincial officials were directed to look into a Calgary Police Commission review of a 1997 complaint investigation regarding Ward 4 councilor Sean Chu, who was a police officer at the time.
Premier Danielle Smith’s office confirmed on Wednesday that she had instructed the deputy ministers of justice and public safety to review the findings of the police commission’s review “to determine whether any further action should be taken in light of the findings contained in the document set out.”
“These allegations are serious and we do not take them lightly,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement to Global News. “Electoral representatives at all levels must conduct themselves in all matters with the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct.”
Chu was a member of the Calgary Police Service when allegations of misconduct involving a teenage girl were made in 1997.
He was convicted of discreditable conduct under the Police Act, but did not face criminal charges.
Calgary City Council to send Chu’s police commission review to the province
The review by the city’s police commission found that some policies and processes were not being followed properly by the Calgary Police Service when the internal investigation took place in 1997.
Calgary city council voted Tuesday to refer the findings of the Calgary Police Commission’s review of the complaint to the province for further review.
This is the second request to the province to review the situation surrounding the city council member from Ward 4 after the revelations first appeared last year.
In November last year, then Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver said he did not have the authority to remove Chu from his post.
The findings of the Calgary Police Commission’s review of the internal investigation were not released until August, meaning McIver did not have that information at the time.
“We have always been very frustrated by the resistance of the UCP to take real action against this councillor,” Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said on Wednesday. “He has engaged in conduct that is deeply troubling, including the recently disclosed conduct surrounding the encouragement of harassment of the Mayor of Calgary.”
How Calgary Police Handled Historic Sean Chu Allegations “Not OK”: Commission
Those recent revelations come from Mayor Jyoti Gondek, who told council Tuesday that Chu took a photo of her license plate in a secure parkade at City Hall and shared it with the public.
Chu admitted to taking the photo and apologized to the mayor; an apology Gondek said she did not accept.
The Council did not include the latest revelations in its request to the provincial government.
“Many in these kinds of circumstances would be on their best behavior, (but) Sean Chu has chosen to continue to behave in a way that disrespects and puts women at risk,” said Lori Williams, a political scientist at the Mount Royal University, said.
“I think this is a very serious problem for someone who is an elected official, who is supposed to represent all of his constituents.”
Ward 12 Councilman Evan Spencer, who joined the calls for Chu to resign, said the situation is eroding the public’s trust in the City Council.
“Public service is really built on public trust, and that’s certainly where some of the best of that work — that collaborative work between management and citizens in a geographic region — sort of comes together and creates beautiful things,” Spencer told Global News said.
“It causes interference. It speeds up the process.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.