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Complaints filed over candidate's election disclosure

Ted Durham appears at council to demand names of complainants

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 06:00 am

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St. Albert council candidate Ted Durham is the subject of a formal complaint regarding his disclosure of election donations and expenses.

Durham ran unsuccessfully for a council seat last fall. His subsequent financial disclosure documents stated that his campaign was completely self-funded. That assertion is being questioned.

Durham received a letter from the city stating that two complaints have been filed about his candidate financial disclosure. He provided the Gazette with a copy of the letter.

According to the letter, one of the complainants believes Durham has not “completely or accurately disclosed all information required to complete their financial statements.”

The second complaint, as detailed in the letter, says Durham benefitted from expenditures made by the local groups St. Albert Think Tank and Election Action Committee.

The letter says “if you believe the information in your filed candidate disclosure statement has changed or has not been completely or accurately disclosed, you have an obligation to submit a supplementary statement to the City of St. Albert within 30 days.”

It’s up to the candidate to decide if the complainant has a point and re-file, said Chris Belke, the city’s chief legislative officer and the returning officer during the election.

If the candidate decides not to re-file, it’s up to the complainant to take his complaint to the next level of authority, which is not the city, Belke said.

Belke’s comments came Monday night in answer to council questions following an address from Durham.

During his presentation, Durham sought to get the names of those who have filed official complaints against him. He suggested an official apology from the city might be appropriate.

During the election campaign, Durham was endorsed by the St. Albert Think Tank along with council candidates Sheena Hughes, Cam MacKay, John Goldsmith, Bob Russell and mayoral candidate Shelley Biermanski.

Durham has recently appeared at council to take Mayor Nolan Crouse to task for sending a letter to Durham’s employer.

On Tuesday, Belke said he cannot confirm or deny if any other council candidates have been the subject of complaints filed about their financial disclosures.

It’s important to adhere to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation, Belke said when asked for information about the complaints.

Last week the Gazette filed an access-to-information request with the city regarding any formal complaints about candidate financial disclosures and campaign financing and is awaiting a response.



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