Voters in Calgary’s District 2 are now armed with more information as they head to the polls.
Evanston Electoral College was very busy on Saturday.
Voters were still absorbing the news that the Alberta Mounted Police have filed fraud and breach of trust charges against Ward 2 Coun. Joe Magliocca.
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“No surprise. I think it’s been building for a while and it finally happened,” said voter Kevin Faas.
Magliocca faces a charge of breach of trust and fraud of less than $ 5,000 and is currently running for re-election.
Magliocca’s expenses have been under police investigation since July 2020, following a forensic audit that showed he made thousands of dollars in ineligible travel and lodging claims.
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Some voters said the news will not affect the way they vote.
“I had already decided who I was going to vote for before all this,” Faas said.
“It was already decided, but I bet there are a lot of people who are undecided and this could make a difference,” said District 2 voter Michael Roy.
Magliocca’s attorney, Greg Dunn, said his client is innocent, will fight the charges, and has paid the expenses. He said the timing of the charges “reeks of political motivation.”
“The timing is strange. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable voting for someone who is accused of something and maybe that’s the goal, ”said Mike Pollock, a voter for District 2.
“It is suspicious. The right to defend yourself is something that we should not take for granted. If Joe Magliocca did something, he has the right to defend himself. “
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Others said the RCMP announcement on Friday was purely coincidental.
“I wouldn’t read too much on that. The legal process does not wait because there are elections, ”said Roy.
Pollster Janet Brown said it’s hard to believe the RCMP will allow the timing of the election to prompt its investigation.
She said that ideally, it would have been better if the information on the charges had come out sooner.
“Many voters will not get this information before casting their vote, but the scandal surrounding Joe Magliocca’s spending has been brewing for quite some time. I don’t think there are too many informed voters in District 2 who don’t realize that they have been involved in a spending scandal for quite some time, ”Brown said.
“On the one hand, it is shocking to see charges like this late at 11 o’clock, but the best situation would not have been for the RCMP to postpone this. The best situation would have been if the voters had had this information sooner. “
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Brown said Ward 2 will be an interesting race to watch, as the starters typically win.
Magliocca makes his first court appearance on October 15, just three days before the municipal elections.
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