Pressure continues to mount for District 4 city councilman Sean Chu to resign, and former and future colleagues spoke Wednesday.
Chu has been under fire after a History of CBC News which focuses on an internal misconduct investigation that was conducted when he was an officer with the Calgary Police Service in 1997.
The CBC story alleges that he had inappropriate contact with a minor.
The outgoing mayor, Naheed Nenshi, took to social media Wednesday night, calling for Chu to resign or for the province to intervene.
“It’s simple. He must resign. If he doesn’t, then the provincial government must act using the powers under the Municipal Government Law to remove him.
“They have spent years threatening school boards with dismissal. I can’t have cold feet right now, ”Nenshi tweeted.
“And no, this is not (just) about ‘things that happened a long time ago.’ It’s about what he said when the first story came out last week and what voters didn’t know when they voted. “
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Most of Calgary’s incoming city council has also spoken, including Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek, who said Tuesday that Chu should make the decision to “stand down” so the council can begin his term.
Sonya Sharp, Jennifer wyness, Jasmine mian, Raj dhaliwal, Courtney walcott, Gian-Carlo Carra, Kourtney branagan, Evan spencer, like Peter demong have issued statements or tweeted that Chu should not continue his role on the council.
District 6 Councilor-elect Richard Pootmans also confirmed to Global News that he too feels, pending an investigation, that Chu should resign.
Andre Chabot, the elected councilman in District 10 who previously served on the council with Chu, said Chu would have to resign “if those facts are substantiated.”
“If these allegations are upheld, then I think it would be better for the city and the council if Sean Chu resigned,” Chabot said.
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Incoming District 11 councilor Branagan said the situation boils down to accountability and the new council has earned the confidence of Calgarians to govern.
“We are addressing real systemic challenges here,” he said Wednesday.
“And the solution is for those in power who have abused power to accept the consequences of their actions.”
Last week, District 7 Councilor-Elect Terry Wong tweeted that he would not comment on the matter.
The newly elected representative for District 13, Dan McLean, has not issued a statement on Chu.
The chief of police weighs
Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld said he first learned of the allegations through news reports on Friday and said he was “shocked and concerned.”
According to Neufeld, he reviewed the documentation related to the incident and found that “the allegations were taken seriously and followed the process that was underway at the time.”
However, in a statement, Neufeld said the finding “in no way absolves Mr. Chu of the profound disappointment his actions entail.”
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According to Neufeld’s statement, released Wednesday night, Chu was convicted of conduct discredited under the Police Act and the Calgary Police Service has not been involved in the matter since 2007.
Neufeld, who was not a police chief at the time, also said that internal procedures for investigating incidents have evolved since the original incident in 1997.
“As a service, we are committed to accountability and transparency.
“We know moments like this raise questions from the public, as they should,” Neufeld said. “That is why I have already made important moves to improve our processes and our reporting in relation to internal investigations and will continue to push for more to be done.”
Chu did not respond to Global News’ request for comment on Wednesday.
However, it issued a statement in response to Sunday’s story.
“As many of you may have heard, there are serious public allegations against me based on a CBC News story that was published on Friday. These accusations misrepresent the truth of the matter and come at a time destined to hurt me the most in this campaign. “
Legal authority to intervene
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney and Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver agreed that Chu should resign if the allegations are proven to be true.
However, both said that the province does not have the legal authority to intervene.
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Official opposition leader Rachel Notley urged the province to step in with an investigation Wednesday to delay Chu’s ability to take his seat on the city council.
“It’s not that the government’s hands (are) completely tied; They have authority and I would suggest they consider it, ”Notley said. “In the meantime, that candidate should reconsider whether or not he wants to step aside.”
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Lori Williams, an associate professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said there is no authority for the province to remove Chu from his post.
However, Williams said he feels voters did not have all the information available to them at the polls.
“There has been an interference with the will of the voters.
“They could not cast informed votes, they did not have the information to do so.
“And then there has been a democratic interference that does not violate any law, but certainly violates the principle of democratic transparency and accountability.”
One of those voters, Natasha Kornak, is now one of several Calgarians who are organizing a rally calling for Chu’s resignation on Sunday on the steps of the city hall.
“When he was a police officer, he was supposed to be someone who should be trusted, and it seems he violated that trust,” Kornak said. “I just don’t feel comfortable with him in that position at all. And I don’t think anyone else should be. “
Chu narrowly won reelection in District 4 by just 52 votes.
A recount will be held on Thursday at the request of his challenger DJ Kelly.
–With files from Adam Toy and Radana Williams of Global News
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