Stettler County probes possible conflict of interest

County of Stettler has called in a lawyer to look into a potential conflict of interest by a councillor who denies any wrongdoing.

Council says in a Nov. 10 statement that it “has reason to believe Coun. Ernie Gendre failed to disclose the existence of a pecuniary interest in a matter before council at the Sept. 14, 2016 council meeting in accordance with Section 171 of the Municipal Government Act …

The statement goes on to say that “council directs administration to obtain legal advice on available options.”

County chief administrative officer Tim Fox said the councillor voted on a contract to extend a water line to a new public works shop. The winning contractor subsequently sub-contracted Gendre’s son to do some directional drilling on the project.

Under the Municipal Government Act, a councillor is required to disclose a pecuniary (financial) interest in a matter before council. A pecuniary interest is defined as a matter that a councillor knows or should know that it could affect the councillor’s family.

In those cases, the councillor must abstain from voting and, in most cases, leave the room during the discussion and vote.

Gendre said when he voted on the project, his son, Ryan Gendre, who owns Diablo Directional Drilling, had not been sub-contracted.

Since he did not know — and nor did his son — that Diablo would get the drilling contract, “I did not believe I had any conflict of interest in there, or pecuniary interest.”

Gendre argues he could not know when he voted that his son’s firm — in which Ernie has no financial interest — would submit the winning quote on the project.

“I have no control over who (the main contractor) contacts or who he sub-contracts on there.”

Fox said the law, not the county, ultimately decides whether the councillor was in the wrong.

Council’s attention was drawn to a possible conflict of interest in a letter to the county from a group of six ratepayers.

They claim that some of Gendre’s construction equipment was working on the public works building project, which they allege is a conflict of interest.

Gendre said the equipment was not his, but belonged to his son.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Stettler RCMP search for suspects

Attempted theft of an ATM

Sign cost a concern for some in Red Deer

Installation complete on south end welcome signs

Alberta’s biathlon women sweep the podium

Alberta biathletes take four medals, including silver in men’s race, on Sunday

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Most Read