File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Prab Gill, right, celebrates his byelection win in the Calgary Greenway riding in Calgary.

Former United Conservative MLA denies stuffing ballot box five months ago

EDMONTON — An Alberta legislature member who quit the United Conservative caucus five months ago in a scandal over ballot box stuffing now says he didn’t do it.

Prab Gill said he had barely read the party’s five-page investigation report when he accepted its findings of guilt in July and quit, suggesting he felt like it was a done deal.

“Based on the information provided to me … (it was) leave it or take it. Based on that, I did what I did,” Gill said Wednesday.

The Independent member for Calgary-Greenway said he has since read the report more thoroughly and has concerns.

“I found out later on that key witnesses were not interviewed or their statements were not taken,” he said.

This past summer, the United Conservatives brought in retired judge Ted Carruthers to investigate Gill’s actions at a June 30 meeting of the Calgary-North East constituency. Gill was running for the party’s nomination in that constituency.

Carruthers’ report has not been made public, but a copy was obtained by The Canadian Press.

The report notes that on that day, the constituency called a meeting to elect board members and executives for the newly redrawn riding.

Carruthers focused on one witness working the voter registration table, but noted there was supporting evidence to back her version of events.

The woman at the table was in charge of a stack of voting ballots. She said Gill came over, casually took some ballots and walked away. When she confronted him, he returned some of the ballots but not all.

When the ballots were later counted, there were 124 in the box even though only 74 people had registered to vote.

Carruthers also noted that 14 of the ballots were not initialled by the registrars to guarantee their authenticity. Those 14 ballots endorsed a candidate for constituency president known to be backed by Gill.

The party cancelled the vote and the investigation was launched.

Carruthers said, on balance, he believed the woman at the registration table over Gill, calling her evidence “clear, consistent and cogent” while Gill offered a blanket denial and little else.

Gill then resigned from caucus issuing a statement saying he didn’t agree with everything from Carruthers’ probe but that the investigation was fair, adding ”I accept the findings.”

There the matter rested until Gill stood in the house last week to criticize the government for what he called undemocratic changes to election fundraising rules.

Just Posted

More than 100 people participate in the Light the Night Walk in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Michael Wark was 27 when he was diagnosed with cancer.… Continue reading

‘Big bang’ precedes Red Deer house fire, says neighbour

A Red Deer home was heavily damaged by a fire early Friday… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Grilling meat at Shelter Ribfest in Red Deer

The first-ever Shelter Ribfest is on this weekend at Gary W. Harris… Continue reading

Red Deer man arrested, charged for drug-related offences

A Red Deer man is facing a number of charges, including possession… Continue reading

Respect in hockey rinks is often missing

The men and women in stripes have long been scrutinized on the… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 10 effortlessly stylish items for fall

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Trump front and centre as talk of trade, jobs emerges on campaign trail

OTTAWA — A familiar U.S. face finally showed up front and centre… Continue reading

RDC Kings and Queens cross country dominate on home turf

There was a lot of pride floating around amongst the host team… Continue reading

Hunting Hills Lightning cruise past Foothills Falcons in high school football action

The Hunting Hills Lightning showed their Football Alberta ranking was no fluke… Continue reading

Two students dead, several seriously injured in Vancouver Island bus rollover

Two University of Victoria students died and several people were injured after… Continue reading

‘It’s time:’ Paralyzed Bronco returning to Humboldt for first time since crash

For the first time in 526 days, former Broncos hockey player Ryan… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $27 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $27 million jackpot… Continue reading

White House says bin Laden son killed in US operation

WASHINGTON — The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden ,… Continue reading

Most Read