MLA Mike Allen offered plea deal
The Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA case will not be heard until November
MLA Mike Allen, who was charged with soliciting a prostitute in St. Paul, Minn. has been offered a plea deal.
The case was back before a judge in St. Paul on Tuesday for formal reading of the charges. Allen was not present.
But Allen's lawyer, Dave Risk, says his client won't even consider the offer until more details in the case are released at his next court hearing, set for Nov. 13.
"They did make an offer to reduce the charges, but we're not even in a position to consider the offer at this point without having reviewed all the evidence," Risk said Tuesday in an interview from his office in Bloomington, Minn.
Allen was one of 13 people arrested during in a prostitution sting in July. He was in the state attending a conference as a representative of the Alberta government.
He was charged with a gross misdemeanour of solicitation of prostitution in a public place in St. Paul on July 16.
The charge carries maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Risk said the prosecutor has offered to drop that to a misdemeanour.
The reduced charge would still carry the possibility of jail time, but Risk suggested legal precedent and the facts of the case make that highly improbable.
"He's not going to have to do any (jail) time no matter what. That's not realistic," said Risk.
Allen could not be reached for comment. His constituency office directed media calls to Risk.
Arrested in prostitution sting
Officials in that state allege Allen responded to an ad that undercover officers had placed on a classified website, offering sexual services.
He is then accused of agreeing to pay $200 in exchange for sex with two women.
Police say Allen placed the cash on the counter and began to undress, at which point the undercover officer signalled to the monitoring officers who arrested Allen.
Allen, who is single with grown adult children, later issued an apology saying, "I accept full responsibility for my actions."
Allen told the Fort McMurray Today newspaper he ended a serious relationship prior to the St. Paul trip and was lonely.
He has not discussed specifics of the case except to say: "This has not been a pattern of behaviour in the past and clearly it will not be in the future."
He has been charged with one count of hiring or agreeing to hire a prostitute in a public place, a gross misdemeanour. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Opposition calls for resignation
The MLA resigned from the PC caucus the day after the arrest, but has remained in the legislature as an independent.
However, the Opposition Wildrose party has called for Allen to resign, saying he can't function as a public representative while facing criminal charges.
NDP Leader Brian Mason has not gone that far, but has said if convicted, Allen needs to resign.
Allan has said he will make up his mind before Oct. 28, when the fall sitting of the legislature begins.
The rookie member of the legislature has said he will talk with his constituents before deciding if he can still represent their interests.
In the meantime, he has returned to the public arena by attending government functions, including the economic summit at the University of Alberta earlier this month.
Should he continue on in his job, he will sit on the opposition side of the house, likely beside the NDP. That would put his chair directly across the aisle from where he sat as a backbench member for Redford.
With files from CBC News