Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Court upholds Katz's acquittal in conflict-of-interest case

  • Print
Mayor Sam Katz

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Mayor Sam Katz Photo Store

The Court of Appeal has upheld Sam Katz’s acquittal of conflict-of-interest charges.

In a ruling released Friday but only made publicly available this morning, the court said there was no evidence that Katz had ordered a December 2010 office Christmas party to be held at a restaurant he owned at the time.

The court’s decision stunned restaurant manager Joe Chan, who filed the appeal and brought the original charge against Katz.

Chan said he’s considering filing an appeal with the Supreme Court.

"They (judges) are just looking for excuses to let (Katz) go," Chan said. "I’m totally disappointed with this decision."

Chan alleged that Katz had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and should be removed from office.

The charge was originally thrown out in April at Queen’s Bench, when Justice Brenda Keyser said the law didn’t apply to politicians and social gatherings.

The Appeal court disagreed but concluded that Keyser had the discretion to refuse to apply the only penalty – remove Katz from office.

"I consider the matter closed and am focused on addressing City of Winnipeg priorities," Katz said in a statement released late this afternoon.

'Looking for ways to avoid... an election': lawyer

Lawyer David Matas, who represented Chan, said he found the Appeal Court ruling to be contradictory, adding that could be grounds for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Appeal Court concluded that the conflict law had to be interpreted liberally.

"The Act is public interest legislation which must be given a broad and liberal interpretation in accordance with the modern rule of statutory interpretation," the Appeal court stated. "It is not limited to meetings of council or of committees."

Matas said it appears the Appeal Court judges did not believe the dollar amount of the Christmas meal -- $3,000 – warranted the expense of removing Katz from office and holding a by-election.

"What (the Appeal Court) is saying is ‘the law means this but the judge has the discretion to ignore the law,’ which I don’t think is right," Matas said.

"They’re looking for ways around avoiding calling an election, which are not very persuasive because the legislation just requires it."

In upholding the acquittal, the Court of Appeal said there was no evidence that Katz directed his staff to hold the Christmas party at his restaurant – only that it was a decision made by his office manager.

Chan said he doesn’t understand how the Appeal Court judges concluded there was no evidence that Katz was not involved in staging the dinner at his restaurant.

"What more evidence do they need – it’s his restaurant," Chan said, adding Katz had meals at the restaurant at other times as well.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

History

Updated on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM CDT: Adds comment from Chan .

3:22 PM: Adds comment from Matas.

4:47 PM: Adds comment from Katz.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the city grant mosquito buffer zones for medical reasons only?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google