Mayor Gondek says councillor's actions jeopardized her personal safety

Mayor Jyoti Gondek says Coun. Sean Chu jeopardized her personal safety earlier this year by taking a picture of her vehicle's licence plate in the secured parking lot at city hall and later sharing it with a member of the public.

She didn't accept Sean Chu's apology for taking photographs of her licence plate

Coun. Sean Chu, seen here in a file photo, has apologized to the mayor after she said he took photos of her licence plate inside City Hall's secured parking lot. (Rebecca Kelly/CBC)

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek is accusing fellow council member Sean Chu of jeopardizing her safety earlier this year when he took photos of her licence plate in the secured parking lot at city hall and later shared it with a member of the public.

Gondek made the comments during a special meeting on council on Tuesday. She said the Ward 4 councillor "compromised my personal safety in this past year given that he took photos of my vehicle licence plate in a secured area."

Chu responded by apologizing for taking the photos but did not provide any comment on why he took them or with whom he shared them.

"I just want to publicly apologize to the mayor for what I have done, I don't want to bore the public with my reasoning, I just want to let you know that I accept the punishment," Chu said during the meeting. 

"I've also spoken to the ethics commissioner and we had a course in dealing with this specific issue." 

Chu said he is also no longer allowed to park in the city's secured lot and uses the public lot.

Gondek said she appreciated the apology but did not accept it.

"You have chosen to apologize only today when I have made this public," she said during the session.

The comments were made during a special meeting of city council called to discuss removing Chu from the deputy mayor roster. He voluntarily gave up the role.

During the meeting, Gondek again repeated her call for Chu to resign from council. 

Earlier this year, a police commission review found policies were not followed and "errors" were made during an investigation into Chu's alleged sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl in 1997, when he was a 34-year-old Calgary police officer.

Criminal charges were not laid but he was disciplined by the Calgary Police Service after being found guilty of discreditable conduct. Chu has previously described the encounter at his home as "consensual touching." He has repeatedly said he did not know the teen was underage when he encountered her in 1997.

On Tuesday, council voted to send the police commission's review to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to see whether any further action should be taken. 

Chu did not speak with reporters following Tuesday's meeting.

Coun. Andre Chabot, who represents Ward 10, will fill in as deputy mayor next month.


Omar Sherif is a digital journalist with CBC Calgary. You can contact him at

With files from Scott Dippel