Controversial councillor squeaks out a win in Calgary's Ward 4, recount sought

A day after he narrowly won his re-election bid, Ward 4 Calgary Coun. Sean Chu is now facing a recount and calls to resign following recent revelations of a misconduct investigation during his time as a police officer in 1997. Matthew Conrod reports.

Incumbent Councillor Sean Chu remained the representative for Calgary’s Ward 4 as of Tuesday morning.

With all polls reporting, Chu unofficially won over DJ Kelly by a margin of 52 votes.

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There is the potential for a recount if one of the candidates seeks one within 44 hours of when the polls closed.

A recount would take place Thursday, according to returning officer Karen Martin.

Global News reached out to Chu for comment on the election results but as of noon Tuesday had not heard back. A statement on his website, posted Monday night, reads:

“Thank you to every resident of Ward 4 who came out to vote in this important election. The polls have now closed, and we will now wait for the results. It has been my honour to serve every resident of Ward 4 since 2013, and it will be my honour again if tonight the voters of Ward 4 choose me to be their voice at city council. Thank you to the many volunteers, supporters and donors who made my campaign possible.”

In a news release, Kelly announced he is in the process of making an application for a recount under the Local Authorities Elections Act.

“We are very fortunate to live in a democratic society where every vote counts, and we intend to ensure that the voice of every Calgarian in Ward 4 is heard.”

Kelly added no matter the outcome, he’ll continue working for the community.

“As we went throughout every neighbourhood in Ward 4, knocking on more than 11,000 doors and connecting with neighbours, it never escaped me that I was running for my community. They’re not going anywhere, so I’m not going anywhere, no matter what the final result is.”

Chu has been under fire after a CBC News story that focuses on an internal misconduct investigation that was done when he was a Calgary Police Service officer in 1997.

The CBC story alleges he had inappropriate contact with a minor.

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Chu released a statement in response to the story on Sunday: “As many of you will have heard, there are serious allegations being made publicly against me based on a CBC News story that was released on Friday. These allegations misrepresent the truth of the matter and come at a time meant to hurt me the most in this campaign.”

Global News was unable to verify the findings of the internal misconduct review.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Calgary Police Service said when the matter was raised in 1997, “it was taken seriously by the service and managed in accordance with the Police Act and Criminal Code.”

Kenney weighs in

Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday sexual impropriety with a minor is appalling, especially if the misconduct is done by a person in power.

“To me, there are few crimes worse than sexual exploitation of a minor, and I take this very seriously. I’d be happy to further discuss this with the mayor-elect, but we also need to get all of the facts and see whether there’s anything that the province can do to address the situation,” he said.

“If these claims are true and these revelations are correct, then I think it would be the honourable thing to step aside.”

Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver, a former Calgary councillor, agreed with Kenney.

“If the worst of the allegations turn out to be true, then yes, he should resign, but we still need to do our due diligence and find out what the facts are,” he said.

– With files from Kaylen Small, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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