Banff Town Council voted on Aug. 10 to publicly release an independent investigation that found no wrongdoing of the Mayor or Council, after an individual who made a complaint began delivering to Banff homes a letter repeating disproved allegations.
The letter alleges of conflict of interest targeting Banff’s Mayor Karen Sorensen and includes 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 allegations were made 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 in June, finding the allegations were 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. Banff Town Council released a statement from the RCMP reiterating that there was no criminal wrongdoing.
After receiving the independent investigation in June, 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. However, due to the continuing efforts of the individuals to circulate the allegations, Council decided this week to overturn their decision and release the report to remove any doubt about wrongdoing. The report, with sections redacted, according to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation, is available below: