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The original item was published from 8/5/2020 12:24:00 PM to 8/5/2020 12:49:17 PM.

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Posted on: August 5, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Conflict of interest allegations disproved

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The Town of Banff has become aware of an individual is delivering a letter to some homes entitled “Report to the Citizens of Banff.”

The letter contains disproved allegations of conflict of interest targetting Banff’s Mayor Karen Sorensen and a number of false statements. Banff Town Council takes very seriously any allegation of impropriety of a member of elected council or staff, and took action when these surfaced in late 2019. In the interests of removing any doubt that there was any wrongdoing, the Mayor and Banff Town Council requested a third-party, independent investigation, which occurred over the past few months. The investigation concluded the allegations to be completely unfounded.

The individuals had previously complained to the RCMP about criminal wrongdoing and fraud. RCMP are obligated to investigate these types of claims. The RCMP conducted a thorough review of the information and concluded that there was no basis for any further action. The findings were reviewed and confirmed by an RCMP expert in financial crime. The matter was closed by the RCMP and the individuals were provided a letter with the conclusions.

Council unanimously decided to keep the conclusions of the independent investigations confidential, to avoid providing exposure to false allegations which could cause harm to the Mayor’s reputation, the reputation of employees identified by the false allegations, and the reputation of our municipality.

These allegations targeting the character of the town’s leadership occupied a considerable amount of time to confirm they were false, at a time when Council is unified in keeping the town safe and fiscally responsible during the COVID crisis. Many falsehoods contained in the letter are harmful and people should be extremely cautious if choosing to share. Mayor Sorensen will request to Council to make the independent investigation public, to remove doubt about any wrongdoing.

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