Alberta politician Derek Fildebrandt convicted, fined in hit and run

An Edmonton traffic court has found an Alberta legislature member guilty in a hit and run with his pickup truck and has ordered him to pay a $402 fine.

Derek Fildebrandt, the Independent member for Strathmore-Brooks, was accused of backing into a neighbour’s van on June 6, 2016, then driving away.

Fildebrandt had pleaded not guilty and testified that if he had backed into the van, he would have done the decent thing and left a note.

He also testified that he was at a meeting with his caucus colleagues that day and would bring witnesses to court, but he never did.

The commissioner hearing the case said he believed the neighbour, Amy Rawlinson, who said she saw the crash from her ground-floor balcony about 20 metres away.

Fildebrandt said after the decision that he still doesn’t remember hitting the van, but accepts the court’s ruling.

The decision has political implications for Fildebrandt. The hit and run, along with two other controversies, prompted him to quit the United Conservative Party caucus earlier this year.

He was also found to have been subletting on Airbnb his taxpayer-subsidized accommodation in Edmonton and double-expensing some meals.

Party leader Jason Kenney has said he would wait for the conclusion of Fildebrandt’s court proceedings before deciding whether to reinstate him to caucus.

Fildebrandt still faces a charge of shooting a deer on private land without getting the owner’s permission.

That charge is to be heard Feb. 2 in court in Didsbury, Alta.

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