Calgary city council will be asking for a forensic investigation of Coun. Joe Magliocca’s expenses from the start of the current council’s term, according to an urgent notice of motion to be presented at the Feb. 24 meeting.
The motion, co-signed by 13 councillors and the mayor, will also examine the way expenses are verified, how they’re made available to the public and governance gaps in the oversight of councillor expenses.
It’s unclear if this notice of motion will replace one put forth by Coun. Jyoti Gondek last week.
This all stems from Magliocca’s $6,400 tab for a trip to Quebec City to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference, first reported by the Calgary Herald.
Later, the city’s integrity commissioner, Sal LoVecchio recused himself from the investigation after he was logged on Magliocca’s expenses for a personal lunch.
Earlier this week, councillors huddled behind closed doors to determine a direction forward on the matter.
Mayor Nenshi said earlier this week they’ll look at ‘gaps’ in reporting council expenses
Mayor Nenshi, who was appointed as the sole spokesperson for council on this file said they’ll talk about this process Monday and how the city moves forward with the complaints against Coun. Magliocca. He said Wednesday that they would discuss if the scope should be expanded to include all councillors – though Nenshi said he wasn’t sure there was an appetite to do that.
Given that 13 councillors signed on to this, that aspect may have been scuttled.
They’ll also look at gaps in their current reporting system, Nenshi said.
“We’re going to use this also as an opportunity to fix any issues in the policy,” Nenshi said.
Specifically, he pointed out that some small expenses get billed directly to the city and aren’t disclosed. Further, he said they need to ask if it makes sense for a single councillor – in this case, Coun. Ray Jones – to have sole signing authority over council expenses.
The investigation into Coun. Magliocca’s expenses will be conducted by a “specialist,” according to the notice of motion, under the direction of the City Auditor’s Office. The cost of the review will be funded through the city’s fiscal stability reserve.