Calgary

Calgary police ask RCMP to lead investigation into city councillor's expenses

Calgary police have asked RCMP to lead an investigation into Calgary councillor Joe Magliocca's expenses, after a forensic audit found he improperly claimed more than $5,000 in the last two years and that there are outstanding questions about another $10,000.

Forensic audit found Coun. Joe Magliocca improperly claimed more than $5K, with another $10K in question

Calgary police have asked RCMP to lead an investigation into Coun. Joe Magliocca's expense claims. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Calgary police have asked RCMP to lead an investigation into Calgary councillor Joe Magliocca's expenses, after a forensic audit found he improperly claimed more than $5,000 in the last two years and that there are outstanding questions about another $10,000.

In late July, city council voted to release the report from the audit and to pass the findings along to Calgary police to "take appropriate action," as well as to the minister of municipal affairs. 

On Monday, police confirmed it had received a request from the city for further investigation. 

"We have reached out to the Alberta RCMP to request they lead an independent investigation in the interest of transparency and best practices," a spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service said in a statement. 

RCMP confirmed it would be conducting an investigation into a city councillor.

The audit, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, found that of $36,687 claimed by the Ward 2 councillor between October 2017 and March 2020, $5,657 was improperly claimed and another $10,247 will need to be reviewed by council's priorities and finance committee. 

When the matter was first reported, Magliocca voluntarily reimbursed $4,477. After the councillor reviewed the draft investigation into his expenses, he voluntarily reimbursed another $1,473. 

Magliocca's expenses were first brought into question in January, when the Calgary Herald reported the councillor had expensed $6,400 — about double that of his colleagues — during a trip to the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City the previous spring.

Those expense claims included meals and alcohol for meetings that some attendees he claimed he met with said never took place.

In fact, the investigation found 11 attendees he claimed he hosted said they were not in attendance. PwC also said there were "numerous" other attendees it was unable to contact to confirm if meetings had taken place. 

Calgary City Councillor Joe Magliocca is facing increased criticism after his work expenses were made public in a report yesterday. 7:47

The city's integrity commissioner Sal LoVecchio would have been tasked with investigating and adjudicating the matter, but LoVecchio recused himself after he said he realized Magliocca expensed a $163 lunch the pair shared without his knowledge.

The investigation of Magliocca was handed to the city auditor who hired PwC.

CBC News has reached out to Magliocca for comment, who has yet to publicly address the audit's findings.

Council voted unanimously to issue a letter of reprimand to Magliocca, request he make a public apology, order him to receive training on relevant policies and ban him from business trips until the organizational meeting of council in 2021. 

Magliocca has been a Calgary councillor since 2013. 

With files from Tahirih Foroozan

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