Complaints unresolved against two former mayoral candidates
Almost a year after the municipal election, complaints against two mayoral candidates remain unresolved.
On April 25, city hall’s compliance audit committee heard complaints that Paul Cheng campaigned before the election start date and over contributed to his own campaign.
A complaint against Paul Paolatto alleges he campaigned before the official campaign period.
Three weeks later, the compliance audit committee appointed an auditor to investigate both complaints.
But since that time, Cheng says he's heard nothing. “May, June, July - so five or six months and somebody is being paid. But it hangs over a private citizen with the full power of the city hall.”
Paolatto tells CTV News in a written statement, "The compliance auditor contacted my auditor the first week of July and requested a copy of my audit file. It was forwarded to him that day. We have heard nothing since.”
Political scientist Andrew Sancton says until the complaints are resolved, the uncertainty hanging over Paolatto and Cheng makes it difficult for them to participate in other elections or move past their defeats.
“I think anybody whose actions have been questioned in this way has a right to have things done as quickly as possible.”
Complainant Lincoln McCardle says he received an email in July notifying him that "the compliance audits and subsequent auditor’s reports are anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019."
City clerk Cathy Saunders says she expects the reports in November.
Sancton believes the candidates might have heard more from the auditor if there were significant concerns.
“It’s conceivable that there is something complex and unanticipated about this, but then you'd think that the two people would have heard. We need more information, or we want your explanation because we discovered something, but we don't even have that.”
Cheng says he’ll wait to hear from city hall. “No further comment. We'll have to see what the city does. Ball's in their court.”
Once the compliance audit committee receives the reports, they will have 30 days to decide if the information warrants starting legal proceedings.