The former MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre is asking the RCMP to investigate current MLA Jason Nixon for obstruction of justice.
Joe Anglin, who served as MLA for the riding from 2012-2015, says Nixon told Anglin’s former legislative assistant Cody Johnston in 2016 to not have any contact with him.
In an affidavit, Johnston says he was approached by a private investigator looking into Anglin over a List of Electors which Elections Alberta said he lost and did not take reasonable steps to protect.
Johnston says he refused to speak to the investigator largely on the advice of Nixon as well as Wildrose Party Chief of Staff Kevin Thomas.
The list containing the information of 20,000 voters in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding for the 2012 election was discovered inside a surplus filing cabinet which had been at Anglin’s Sundre constituency office. It was later moved to the Legislature’s annex and sold before the voters list was later found inside.
“The party asked me to get a copy for the party. I can track that I did it for the party,” Anglin tells rdnewsNOW. “I would have given the list to the party because they were the ones that requested it, but I couldn’t prove it. I just know I would have done it and that’s what Johnston’s attesting to; he told the investigators that he gave them that list.”
Anglin is currently appealing the $500 fine levied against him by Elections Alberta for the offence.
Johnston states in his affidavit, which was submitted as an amendment to Anglin’s appeal, that he was released from his employment with the now merged UCP in July 2017, meaning he could once again contact Anglin without fear of repercussion. Johnston then emailed Anglin in Feb. 2018 explaining why he couldn’t speak to the investigator. He later called Anglin to ask for an employment reference.
“As your legislative assistant, I provided you a template to request the documents (List of Electors), which ultimately got sent to Elections Alberta prompting the request. The documents came into my possession after you dropped them off on my desk,” Johnston states in the email regarding the timeline of events which began in 2012. “From there I delivered them to a Wildrose party staff official. After that, the list was in the custody of the party, and after I had delivered, I doubt these honestly would have ever come back into your possession. And if it had, you know, I would have known about it.”
Johnston, who notes that he helped Anglin with his move to a new office after his exit from the Wildrose caucus, verifies that he swept the entire office, including the kitchen for any of Anglin’s mugs, and found nothing, including a List of Electors.
Johnston characterized the investigator’s tactics as harassment and says they even tried to prompt him to talk by contacting his new employer. Johnston says he refused to make time for the investigation and that he called for it to end.
Johnston also says in his affidavit that he believed an effort was underway by Elections Alberta to “get” Anglin, later noting in his email to Anglin that the investigator once entered the Legislature on false pretenses as being an Elections Alberta staffer.
“The harm this has caused me was all the time and effort and the attacks on my reputation. People make some crazy comments about what they think happened, but they don’t understand,” Anglin continues. “When this stuff gets out there, people attack your reputation. So not only has it been harmful to my reputation, it’s been harmful to my pocketbook and it’s weighed heavy on my personal life, trying to fight off an unjust charge.”
In a statement, the UCP responded to Anglin’s allegations by calling them outlandish.
“We believe it is entirely without merit. In fact, the Chief Electoral Officer has applied to strike Mr. Anglin’s claim,” says Matt Wolf, UCP spokesperson.
“Mr. Anglin is a serial litigant who has commenced a number of legal actions following the 2015 campaign, none of which were successful. It’s clear that after being fined by the Chief Electoral Officer for inappropriate campaign practices, Mr. Anglin simply can’t accept his punishment.”
In the meantime, Anglin is challenging a $250 fine for a violation related to election signage. That case is on application for leave to the Supreme Court of Canada, he says.
He’s also mulling over whether he wants to run in the next provincial election as a candidate for the new Freedom Conservative Party, taking on Nixon to get back his former seat.
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