MLA Steve Young dropped from cabinet over allegations

Edmonton-Riverview MLA Steve Young, a former police officer who was tapped for a promotion in the Redford cabinet last week has been suddenly dropped from the inner circle.

Allegations made during Young's time as Edmonton police officer

Steve Young dropped from cabinet

9 years ago
Duration 2:38
The MLA was supposed to be sworn in as the new associate minister of public safety

Premier Alison Redford abruptly dropped Edmonton Riverview MLA Steve Young from her cabinet because of what was described as an undisclosed allegation from his career as an Edmonton police officer.

The premier’s office had previously announced Young would become the newly created associate minister of public safety, a promotion for Young who had been the caucus whip.

But on Friday, Young was abruptly dropped from cabinet.

"He's got a couple of personal issues that he brought to our attention," Redford said. "And we decided this probably wasn't the right time for him to go into cabinet."

But Young says the premier's office knew all about the incident when he was named to cabinet last week. He says he was cleared of wrongdoing in the subsequent investigation. 

Young adds that he did not raise the issue with Redford, instead it was addressed with him. 

"I provided full disclosure in terms of what the issues were," he said. "I had nothing to hang my head about, in any matter, had nothing to be ashamed of.  But certainly, people will use things like this past whether you are exonerated or not, in unflattering ways.

"And so that was part of the conversation with the premier's office."

CBC News has obtained an internal Edmonton Police disciplinary report from October 2007, which found insufficient evidence to prove Young had lied when he told internal police investigators he had not used a Taser on a drunken young man during a 2004 arrest when in fact he had.

The report details how Young , during a 2005 internal police investigation, repeatedly denied using his Taser and instead claimed another officer had Tasered the suspect.

In an email to an internal affairs detective, Young wrote: “I don’t envy your position. Trevor spoke with me about this matter and says it wasn’t him. From my position I observed (the suspect), and I certainly believed it to be Trevor, but at the same time there were a few officers there.”

The investigating detective cautioned Young that he was under investigation and directly asked him if he was the officer who deployed his Taser. Young acknowledged he was under caution and again denied Tasering the suspect.

But a technical investigation of Young’s Taser showed it had been deployed during the arrest. Young was confronted about this fact by another internal affairs detective, and shown a “control tactic sheet” he had filled out which showed he had indeed deployed his Taser.

Denied Tasering suspect, but did

The report shows Young was angry because he felt he was being ambushed by the detective by not giving him full disclosure before he made his statement in which he denied Tasering the suspect. Young inexplicably continued to insist he had told the truth in his statement but then abruptly changed his story.

 “Well based on the control tactics form I filled out, yes, I Tasered him at 0:45 hours approximately,” Young states in a transcript of the recorded conversation with the detective. “I’m just reading off this form now.”

Young subsequently told the internal Edmonton police disciplinary inquiry that his statements were based on a faulty memory.

“When the issue (use of the Taser) came up a significant time later, I remembered it differently,” Young said. “I’ve been in many incidents involved since and before and after and during, and going from my memory, I remembered it one way.

“While presented with the use of force form, I was, like, shocked and clearly wrong by my memory, my recollection, specifically on me Tasering him. I was completely wrong about that,” Young said, adding later that, “and I’m extremely embarrassed, well, first of that my memory wasn’t perfect and that I actually thought it was somebody else.

“I honestly believed this is what I saw. No ill will. And because there is nothing that went wrong, well, what are you lying about? I wasn’t lying. I was wrong, and I am not lying about anything because there was nothing that happened.”

Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin says the inconsistencies in the report raises questions, but he is willing to give Young the benefit of the doubt that he forgot about using his Taser.

"If this is the reason Mr. Young is not qualified to be a cabinet minister, I'm sorry but this is nowhere near as disturbing as some of the things cabinet ministers have done," Anglin said. 

Young was first elected in the 2012 election, winning the riding formerly held by Liberal leader Kevin Taft.  He says he plans to continue as the MLA for Edmonotn-Riverview.