Although loyal in their support for Nolan Crouse, Doug Musey’s October 11th and Gail Barrington-Moss’ October 15th letter to the Gazette both seem to have missed the crux of the real issue in regards to Nolan Crouse’s expenses. And that issue is the oft repeated offense of bilking taxpayers in both St. Albert and the Capital Region.
Nolan Crouse’s apologies do not erase what occurred over a confirmed period of nineteen months. Saying he has paid back his “indiscretions” does not erase reality. Mike Duffy lost out trying to “correct” his error by paying back. Alison Redford lost out trying to “correct” her errors by reimbursing taxpayers. Of course both pleaded their innocence in having bilked taxpayers. Only when an independent audit was done in the latter two cases did the real indepth picture emerge.
To date Nolan Crouse refuses to have an independent external audit done. He has been fighting against the idea for months. Why? Could the answer possibly be found in his shoebox?
Barrington-Moss and Musey would both like St. Albertans’ focus to go back to the multi-million dollars the city collects to continue on with “important matters that need to be addressed”. (1) Before that can happen though, taxpayers from St. Albert and the Capital Region deserve to have some semblance of trust in this politician as well as what he does with taxpayers’ dollars. Closeted shoebox finances are not the calibre of accounting any municipality should be happy with. It brings to question how well taxpayers’ dollars are being handled, especially with the 75 additional mistakes Crouse himself discovered in his now famous shoebox.
With an independent audit the “tiny oversight” (2) may, like in Duffy’s and Redford’s cases, present a bigger troubling picture. On the other hand, such an audit could lessen the doubt of the mayor’s ability to overlook “the day-to-day business of a multi-million dollar city.” (3)
The question goes out to Mayor Crouse: How serious are you in clearing your name and offering the transparency you campaigned on a year ago?
(1) St. Albert Gazette, Your Views, Flogging a dead horse over expenses, October 15, 2014
(2), (3) St. Albert Gazette, Your Views, Mayor deserves benefit of the doubt, October 11, 2014
Not even a year into this council’s four year mandate and scandal strikes this city. News about St. Albert’s mayor’s abuse of funds has not only hit local media sites, but has also garnered national media attention.
No matter how much Nolan Crouse tries to “apologize” for his “honest” mistakes over the nineteen month period presented at October 6th, 2014 council meeting, those apologies will not cut it with St. Albertans.
Not to worry Mayor Crouse, you have company in deceiving the tax paying public.
Montreal, Quebec: Michael Applebaum indicted on 14 charges which included fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust and corruption in municipal affairs. Four months later the original charges were extended to include major real estate transactions. Preliminary hearing scheduled for June 2015.
Hamilton, Ontario: Larry Di Ianni pleaded gulty to six charges of violating municipal election finance rules.
London, Ontario: Joe Fontana convicted of three related fraud charges totalling $1700 in June of this year.
Vernon, British Columbia: Sean Harvey admitted to abusing $14,000 of taxpayers’ money via his expense account. He was sentenced to twelve months house arrest. He was charged with fraud a second time for defrauding his business partner of $69,000.
Montreal, Quebec: Gérald Tremblay resigned after allegations of corruption at city hall that he chose not to acknowledge.
Laval, Quebec: Gilles Vaillancourt arrested and charged with fraud and corruption in 2013
How far Nolan Crouse’s deception goes remains to be seen.