Trial date set for Joe Magliocca on charges of fraud, breach of trust

Article originally appeared in: Calgary Herald
View Article
Trial date set for Joe Magliocca on charges of fraud, breach of trust

Former Calgary city councillor Joe Magliocca will face a two-week trial this summer over allegations of fraud and breach of trust linked to a spending scandal.

Lawyer Caitlin Taylor appeared in provincial court Friday for lead defence counsel Greg Dunn and entered not guilty pleas on behalf of their client.

With the consent of Edmonton Crown prosecutor Aaron Rankin, Taylor set down a 10-day trial to commence Aug. 15.

Magliocca, who at the time was running for re-election as the incumbent councillor in Ward 2, was charged Oct. 8, 2021, following an RCMP investigation, just 10 days before Calgary’s municipal election.

At the time, Dunn, in a written statement made on behalf of his client, said the timing of the charges, just days before the vote, “reeks of political motivation.”

Mounties charged Magliocca with breach of trust and fraud under $5,000.

The two-time city councillor was soundly defeated in the Oct. 18 vote by Jennifer Wyness, whom he defeated in 2017 by more than 3,000 votes.

In his statement, Dunn not only questioned the timing of the charges being laid, but suggested criminal allegations were completely unfounded.

“ This is a civil matter involving an unintentional mistake of less than $4,000 for which our client has already voluntarily repaid, ” he said.

“ Our client is innocent and will vigorously contest the allegations. ”

In a brief exchange with reporters during a council break last September — the first he’d attended in person in months, since meetings have been almost entirely virtual due to COVID-19 — Magliocca  claimed he had been “ framed, ” but didn’t offer further details. He said he couldn’t tell his side of the story until the RCMP investigation  was complete.

Magliocca ‘s expenses had been the subject of a police probe since last August, after Postmedia reporting on irregularities  in the councillor’s spending led to an independent forensic audit, the results of which prompted city council to refer the issue to police.

In total, the councillor was found to have inappropriately expensed more than $9,000 over his last term, including ineligible flight upgrades  and “ hosting ” expenses for meals and drinks with people who said they never met with him. In a 2018 incident, Magliocca  billed the city for a hotel stay to attend meetings that auditors couldn’t determine ever took place.

Magliocca  has repaid the expenses that were ineligible. But he has largely refused  to explain what happened, only saying that he never intended to make “ errors ” in following council expense policies.

— With files from Madeline Smith

Tagged as
Criminal Justice