After having initially recused himself from the Calgary Police Commission, Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra has decided to fully resign from that post.
Carra’s resignation was announced as part of housekeeping done around boards, committees and commission appointments during Tuesday’s combined meeting of council. This was done after fellow Coun. Dan McLean withdrew from his duties on BCCs in connection with a leaked video last week.
In April, Coun. Carra stepped away from the Calgary police commission after an investigation was launched into an alleged road rage incident involving him.
In his letter of resignation, Carra said he’s provided a detailed account to police, members of Commission and the public.
“I believe this unprecedentedly prolonged timeframe should have been more than adequate for the investigation to reach a conclusion,” Carra wrote in the statement.
“After seven months, it appears my suspension has served the Calgary Police Service as it has kept a critic silenced through a variety of important oversight issues ranging from the thin blue line to the next four-year budget.”
LiveWire Calgary reached out to the Edmonton Police Service three separate times in September for updates on Carra’s case. At that time, EPS said they were awaiting an update from investigators. LWC contacted Edmonton police again Nov. 1 for another update, in light of Carra’s comments. EPS said their investigation has concluded and it now rests with the Crown prosecutors office.
Outside city council chambers Tuesday, Carra said he’s been told through his attorney that Edmonton police are awaiting further direction.
Direction from whom, he was asked.
“We have no idea. I have no idea. This is all very unusual,” he said.
Carra told media he was frustrated by how long it’s taken. He felt the investigative length was “unprecedented.”
Here is Carra’s full statement.
Still work to be done at CPS, Carra said
Last week, Ward 8 Coun. Courtney Walcott stepped down after one year on Calgary Police Commission. He said he’d served his purpose and would be a better advocate from the outside.
Carra echoed that feeling.
“It gives me a different kind of latitude,” he said.
“Obviously, I’m not on the inside. So, I’m not privy to a lot of day-to-day things. But, as not a member of commission, who has to work with fellow commissioners and moves at a slower pace, I will be able to respond more clearly and more timely to issues as they emerge,” he said.
The Ward 9 councillor said he was happy with who was selected for the Calgary Police Commission. Those will be announced after vulnerable sector checks have been done. He felt it was important to have two members of council on the commission as they undertake an organization transformation.
“As much as I am passionate about clearing my name, as much as I am passionate about doing the good work to holding the police to account and helping them transform their organization, I’m simply not able to do it in a suspended state,” Carra said.
The Calgary Police Commission thanked both Walcott and Carra for their service and contributions as Commissioners.
In a statement they said:
“Councillor Walcott provided important perspectives on community safety and through his recommendations, he highlighted ways in which we can build stronger partnerships and relationships within our community for the benefit of all Calgarians.
Councillor Carra’s experience and commitment to Calgary strengthened the work of our Commission. His contributions and insights provided meaningful guidance to the ongoing policing transformation objectives of the Commission.”
The Commission said they respect diverse voices in making decisions.
“However, commissioners are also required to speak with one voice once decisions are made, and advocate with Council and other levels of government for what the Commission as a whole believes will support efficient and effective policing in our city,” read a statement from Calgary Police Commission Chair, Shawn Cornett.
“While being on the Commission provides members with significant influence on policing issues, it does limit the type of public advocacy members can engage in. We respect the decision of any member who believes they can have a greater impact by being more personally active in the public discourse than being on the Commission typically allows.”