Mike Allen is staying on for the time being as a member of the Alberta legislature for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, despite facing a prostitution charge in the U.S.

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MLA Mike Allen tells his Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo constituents he is staying on as an independent. (Courtesy Mix 1037 FM News)

A byelection would be expensive, and he can represent his constituents as an independent, Allen told a news conference at his constituency office this morning.

"A byelection is costly and time consuming and could potentially take up to six months," he said. 

Allen said he will continue to consult with the community before deciding his longer-term future, which he'll announce before the fall session of the legislature starts in October.

He said he must explore if the community's trust in him can be rebuilt.

"This has not been a pattern of behaviour in the past and clearly will not be in the future," he said.

Once again, he apologized for his "mistake."

"This is a deeply embarrassing time, and I profoundly regret the distress that I've caused my community," he told reporters. "I will be saying sorry to a lot of people for a long time.

"I've already face my parents, my children, and many of my friends, and now it's my responsibility to face my community."

Allen was arrested in a prostitution sting in St. Paul, Minn., while attending a conference as a representative of the Alberta government.

He is scheduled to make a court appearance in St. Paul in late September to answer the charge.

Allen left the Progressive Conservative caucus last week. He also repaid his expenses to the Alberta government for the trip.