Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Elections Manitoba OK's Ackman's candidacy

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ELECTIONS Manitoba has ruled Darrell Ackman, who allegedly recruited girls for the sex trade, can run in the Fort Whyte provincial byelection, Ackman's lawyer said late Friday.

Ackman was being investigated for allegedly submitting at least one phoney name on his nomination papers to Elections Manitoba.

Winnipeg property manager Avrom Charach is very real -- he said he just didn't sign his name vouching for Ackman's candidacy in the Sept. 4 byelection.

"I'd like them to quickly figure out whether or not putting my name on a piece of paper is appropriate, and if not, do what they should," Charach said Friday. "My ultimate wish? Get this guy off the ballot."

However, Elections Manitoba ruled Ackman's candidacy can stand because he had 130 names on his nomination papers and only needed 100, said his lawyer, Martin Glazer.

Advance polls open today.

Charach filed his complaint Thursday and by Friday an investigator was assigned by Manitoba's Elections Commissioner Bill Bowles.

"The instructions that I gave were to complete it as soon as possible," Bowles said earlier Friday.

It's unclear whether Ackman will face other consequences if it's shown he submitted a false name.

Bowles has the authority to prosecute Ackman under the Elections Act, but may find no action required because the alleged offence was inadvertent or of a technical nature. If that's the case, he could issue a formal caution.

Ackman, 43, is currently on bail after being charged by Winnipeg police earlier this summer for allegedly recruiting girls to appear in porn videos and work in the sex trade.

He was arrested July 23 after an undercover officer contacted Ackman to have a date with one of Ackman's "escorts," according to a search warrant affidavit. Investigators said Ackman showed up at a hotel with "two youthful-looking females." They admitted to being 14 and 17 with Ackman standing right beside them, police said.

The allegations against Ackman have not been proven in court.

Manitoba's Elections Act did not restrict the Tuxedo resident, from soliciting eligible voters or from having his name appear on the ballot.

Charach said earlier Friday he believes Ackman submitted his nomination papers to Elections Manitoba knowing that Charach did not put down his name or provide his signature.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 25, 2012 A12

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