DJ Kelley — who finished 100 votes behind embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu — has dropped his bid to have a judicial recount in the October 18 election.
“Regardless of whether or not a recount would have changed the outcome of the election, the current law is that in Calgary, and anywhere in Alberta where a machine is used on election day, there is no way to request a recount,” said Kelly in a release.
He said a November 19 legal conference with Justice Kent Davidson made it clear there was a serious concern with the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) in that a judicial recount is illegal wherever a municipality chooses to use voting machines rather than a traditional ballot count.
Kelley said he doesn’t have the financial means to mount a challenge to the LAEA itself and is dropping his request.
“Our democratic system must be based on trust, and the combination of this section of the LAEA and the choice by the city to use tabulators to achieve a quicker election result means by law no confirmation of election results is possible,” said Kelly.
“On October 19 I asked for a recount simply because I believed when an election is decided by (at that time) 52 votes, we should double-check that ballots were accurately counted. The denial of that request has unfortunately now uncovered even larger issues in our electoral system.
“As a result, I offer my congratulations to Sean Chu on his election as Ward 4 Councillor. Calgarians living in Ward 4 deserve strong and effective representation, and I will watch closely to see if he is able to deliver on that expectation.”
Days before the election, allegations surfaced Chu had an inappropriate relationship nearly two decades earlier with a girl who was 16 at the time. Chu was then an officer with the Calgary Police Service.
The Chu allegation involved an incident where he met the girl at the King’s Head Pub. After hitting it off, the pair agreed to meet later when Chu was off-duty and in civilian clothes.
The pair went to Chu’s house where he admits they engaged in consensual sexual foreplay. The girl then asked Chu to drive her home, which he did.
The girl later filed a complaint alleging Chu sexually assaulted her.
According to documents obtained by the Western Standard, Chu’s accuser said he had sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head.
However, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, the presiding officer at the disciplinary hearing in 2003, said testimony from the then 16-year-old minor was not credible and not to be believed.
“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a well-respected, now-retired, Calgary policewoman, in transcripts provided to the Western Standard.
“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.
“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”
Middleton-Hope also confirmed there was no evidence that would have indicated Chu was aware the woman was underage stating, “several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old.”
Although allegations of sexual misconduct were thoroughly investigated and dismissed over the investigation, Chu had a letter of reprimand added to his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty and was ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview.
“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.
Chu is now looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called “false reporting.”
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