Eight of 15 members of Calgary city council have signed on to a notice of motion calling for a forensic investigation into their colleague Joe Magliocca’s expenses for all of 2019.
One of the eight signatories is Magliocca, who has yet to address the issue of a social lunch with the integrity commissioner last summer that he expensed to the city.
Former justice Sal Lovecchio released a statement on Wednesday, saying he was recusing himself from an investigation of a complaint against Magliocca because of the lunch that he didn’t know was expensed to the city.
Councillor Jyoti Gondek spearheaded the urgent notice of motion and said besides the forensic investigation, she’s calling a better system to deal with council expenses with the city auditor and city manager coming up with recommendations.
“To ensure that we can fix the governance gap we have where the council coordinating committee is able to take some of the responsibilities it currently has and give them to a more external party,” she said. “So we don’t have council members taking on a very difficult situation of overseeing other council members expenses.”
While Gondek was calling for the resignation of the integrity commissioner on Wednesday, the notice of motion speaks of having him speak to council to discuss the rationale that led to his public statement and whether there are adequate supports when a question of a potential recusal arises.
Gondek says she still might call for the replacement of Lovecchio from the integrity commissioner position.
Councillor Evan Woolley was one councillor who didn’t sign the notice of motion but agrees with a lot of what’s being proposed, including council’s conversation with the integrity commissioner and forensic investigation of Magliocca’s 2019 expenses.
However, Woolley said he’s concerned with how quickly things are moving.
“Sometimes it’s a good thing to stop and take a breath and for us to sit down and have a conversation about what’s happening and what needs to happen and how can we work together to accomplish that.”
Council will discuss the notice of motion at their meeting Feb. 24.
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