Winnipeg city Coun. Thomas Steen, a former star with the Winnipeg Jets, has been arrested on an assault charge.
Steen, 53, has represented the Elmwood–East Kildonan ward at city hall since 2010.
He was arrested on Tuesday. He has not yet been formally charged, but he turned himself in to police and was released on a promise to appear in court.
Police have not released details about alleged assault, but fellow Coun. Scott Fielding confirms a media report that Steen is alleged to have assaulted a woman he knows at a Garden City restaurant last week.
Mayor Sam Katz told reporters on Wednesday that he would not comment on the arrest while an investigation is ongoing, but he did say there are no rules that would force Steen off council.
Steen is taking an indefinite voluntary leave from his council duties, according to his executive assistant, who called the case a personal and private matter.
Constituents will still be represented
River Heights–Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow said residents in Steen's ward will be looked after while their councillor is away from his duties.
"There are people here at city hall. Coun. Steen's assistant is very capable to help out. Other councillors will jump in the fray to help out as they try to sort through this," Orlikow told reporters.
Steen has also been suspended from his duties on the Winnipeg Police Board while the investigation is happening, said Fielding, who chairs the board.
"I did have a conversation with Coun. Steen yesterday, as per the police board and our parameters from the Manitoba Police Commission. If there's any investigation going on, you're not allowed to participate in the police board meetings," Fielding said Wednesday.
Steen played for the Jets from 1981 to his retirement from the NHL in 1995. His jersey number 25 was then retired by the team.
Orlikow said Steen's arrest has taken many people at city hall by surprise.
"I'm surprised about the whole event and troubled by it, as we all are," he said.
"I have no comment about it itself. I wish him all the best…. But again, I just want to make sure that the ward residents know in that area that the City of Winnipeg is still here."