Categories: City Hall

Heron cleared in expense fraud accusations

A review of Councillor Cathy Heron’s expenses by the city found “no malfeasance” with her claims.

The city conducted a full review of Heron’s expense claims and said in a release that “there are no funds now payable by or to the City with respect to those claims.”

Heron said that she feels “vindicated” with this result.

“I knew from the start that I was innocent. I’m not trying to cheat the city in any way,” Heron said.

Although Heron said that she would still like an apology, she wants the residents of St. Albert who question any expense claims to use the proper channels in the future, rather than bringing issues directly to a city council meeting.

“The right process to do this is to go through the mayor or the city manager and not to make a public display and harm our city’s reputation. That is the worst part of it all,” Heron said.

The city launched an investigation after the Sept. 11 city council meeting when St. Albert resident William Tuchak, a retired Revenue Canada auditor, presented information on three incidents that he believed added up to $3,331.61 in fraudulent expense claims.

One incident involved an Alberta Capital Region Waste Water Commission conference in New Orleans where Tuchak alleged Heron submitted a fraudulent claim of $2,875.74.

Tuchak also brought forward two instances where he alleged Heron claimed per diems and mileage to attend ACRWWC meetings in Fort Saskatchewan but notes that the meetings minutes state that she was absent. The first instance was on Sept. 18, 2015 and the second instance was on Oct. 20, 2016 and add up to $455.87.

Heron is one of three candidates running for mayor in the fall election. Councillor Cam MacKay and Malcolm Parker are also running.

No further information was given.

City manager Kevin Scoble was not available to comment by press time. Mayor Nolan Crouse declined to comment on the matter.

Jennifer Henderson: Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.