Saturday, October 31, 2020

UCP MLA Peter Singh under investigation by election commissioner for alleged bribery

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Alberta’s election commissioner has launched an investigation into allegations a United Conservative MLA used bribery to gain votes during his nomination contest, even though an internal party investigation cleared him of wrongdoing.

Peter Singh, now the UCP MLA for Calgary-East, is facing accusations of “fraud, forgery, improper inducement and bribery” from four of the nomination candidates who ran against him in the same riding. Back in November 2018, the four — Jamie Lall, Matthew Dirk, Issa Moussa and Andre Chabot, a former city councillor — sent a letter to party leadership detailing their complaints.

They claimed Singh had offered gifts or money for votes and fraudulently registered people for the UCP by forging their consent and identity. Two sworn affidavits signed by residents of the riding and provided as evidence of improprieties outlined how Singh allegedly gave discounts at his business — an auto-repair shop located in Calgary — for votes and offered cash to people for support.

At the time, Singh dismissed the complaints as “sour grapes.” The UCP conducted an internal investigation and found there wasn’t enough evidence to support the allegations.

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An investigator with the office of the election commissioner has been in touch with some of the complainants, and a letter, sent on Monday and obtained by Star Edmonton, said he’s now probing some of their allegations.

“I have been assigned a file relating to allegations that a Nomination Contestant (NC), for the 2018 Calgary-East contest, potentially gave out gifts and inducements to voters (and possibly didn’t claim these expenses),” the letter from investigator Dave Jennings states. Jennings previously served with the Calgary Police Service for 25 years before joining the commissioner’s office.

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