Michael Tracey gets 28-day sentence; other charges pending
Former NLTA IT admin pleads guilty to refusing breathalyzer, malicious damage, and failures to appear
An IT professional who was hired by the province’s teachers’ union last year, while he was the subject of an active arrest warrant for identity theft and fraud in Alberta, has been sentenced for a number of crimes he committed after moving back to Newfoundland.
Michael Tracey, 36, pleaded guilty to two counts of refusing the breathalyzer, one count of malicious damage, and failures to appear.
Judge Mike Madden sentenced Tracey to a total of 28 days in jail, and banned him from driving for two years.
The Crown had asked for a sentence of 35 days.
Tracey has been in custody since June 10, when he was picked up by police and charged with two counts of trespassing at night, and one count of break and enter into a home.
Those charges were set over until August.
Tracey, who was led into court in handcuffs by two sheriff’s officers, had no criminal convictions before Thursday.
“He’s a man who seemed to have everything going for him and fell off track really, really bad,” defence lawyer Randy Piercey told the court.
Tracey gave a short statement to the judge during his sentencing.
“I was going through a rough patch,” Tracey said.
He also noted that “my family is here to support me.”
The judge stressed the importance of protecting the public and deterrence in handing down the sentence.
“There’s obviously something gone wrong in your life recently,” Madden said.
The judge said failing to show up at the police station as required for identification purposes was “just stupid.”
Active warrant in Alberta
A CBC News investigation last month found that Tracey faces three dozen counts related to fraud, forgery, and identity theft in Calgary dating back to early 2013.
He failed to appear in court in Alberta last March, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Tracey instead moved back to Newfoundland, and found work at the teachers’ union.
As IT administrator, Tracey helped oversee a computer system containing personal information on thousands of teachers.
When CBC News approached the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association about Tracey’s charges out west, the union issued a statement saying it would launch its own probe.
The NLTA told members it had revoked Tracey's access to the building and computer system after being contacted by CBC News, and pledged to review hiring practices.
Tracey no longer works for the union.