Coun. Chu used CPS business cards, pager, and 'police appeal' in personal life, document shows

·5 min read
Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu was assigned ethics committee work after he was found to have used police resources for his personal life back when he was a CPS officer in 2003. (Fritzology Inc. - image credit)
Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu was assigned ethics committee work after he was found to have used police resources for his personal life back when he was a CPS officer in 2003. (Fritzology Inc. - image credit)

A transcript from Calgary Coun. Sean Chu's 2003 police disciplinary hearing — for "caressing" a teenage girl — shows not only was the then-officer issued a reprimand, he was also assigned six months of ethics committee work. That came after the presiding officer found Chu had used "police business cards, police pagers and his police appeal to enhance his off-duty personal life."

Following an investigation under Alberta's Police Act, Chu was found guilty of discreditable conduct for touching the leg of a 16-year-old girl in 1997 at a restaurant while he was in uniform, according to his own testimony.

The transcript also shows the presiding officer did not believe Chu's accuser and discounted her evidence entirely.

Chu has faced increasing calls for him to step down since CBC News broke the story on Oct. 15 that when he was a 34-year-old police officer in 1997, he had sexual contact with a minor.

On Oct. 18, Chu was re-elected as Ward 4 councillor by a margin of 100 votes. A judicial recount has been requested.

Chu's victim 'inconsistent,' says presiding officer

The transcript obtained by CBC News is from Chu's sentencing decision, which took place on Jan. 31, 2003 — nearly six years after the incident — and lasted eight minutes.

The newest document reveals that presiding officer Debbie Middleton-Hope did not believe the testimony of the complainant, a woman CBC News has identified as HH. CBC News does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Middleton-Hope said HH was "inconsistent" in her evidence and had difficulty remembering "pertinent details." The presiding officer said she would not consider HH's evidence in considering Chu's sentence.

On Tuesday, Mayor Jyoti Gondek took issue with Middleton-Hope's comments about HH's inconsistencies, pointing out there are "inconsistencies on both sides."

"Choosing to believe one side over the other because of inconsistencies is clearly flawed," said the mayor.

6-month ethics assignment

In issuing a five-year reprimand in 2003, Middleton-Hope said Chu would suffer consequences, such as difficulty being promoted or transferred within the Calgary Police Service (CPS).

"As this incident is five years old, has impacted Const. Chu's personal and professional life, I feel a further five years of restricting Const. Chu's career opportunities is a sufficient sentence," said Middleton-Hope.

But the presiding officer was so concerned about Chu using his police persona in his private, off-duty interactions, she also directed Chu to assist with developing the "integrity/compromise" section of a presentation for the ethics council for a period of no less than six months.

"Furthermore, what I find disturbing in the evidence presented by Const. Chu was his readiness to use police business cards, police pagers and his police appeal to enhance his off-duty, personal life," said Middleton-Hope.

Document shows pair met at restaurant, not pub

According to Chu, he "met a woman at a licensed establishment where all persons are required to be 18 years of age or older."

Last week, Chu elaborated on his initial statement, telling reporters that he'd met HH at the King's Head Pub during a walk-through with his partner.

CPS has confirmed that at that time, Chu was assigned to the traffic unit.

But according to a CTV report based on another transcript from Chu's disciplinary proceedings, the pair met at the Husky House Restaurant.

And in the 2003 sentencing document, Chu "admitted to caressing [HH's] leg in a public restaurant while in uniform."

Doesn't recall speaking with teen 2 years earlier

Chu has also repeatedly said he did not know the age of the teen in 1997.

Middleton-Hope accepted the testimony of unidentified witnesses who said HH appeared to be 19 to 21 years old.

However, HH testified she'd had previous contact with Chu two years earlier, when she was involved in an altercation at school.

The transcript also shows HH sent Chu a Christmas card following his involvement on the file.

Chu said he had spoken with her only over the phone regarding the incident and said another officer was in charge of the file.

In a written statement provided Wednesday, Chu emphasized he didn't "recollect" any prior meetings with HH.

"He honestly has no recollection of this alleged previous encounter," said Chu's office in the emailed statement.

Chu found to be 'forthright' in testimony

Middleton-Hope ruled Chu had been "forthright" in his testimony that he had "participated in consensual sexual foreplay with [HH] in the living room of his home."

"I believe Const. Chu to be sincere when he indicated he was unsuspecting of [HH's] exact age," said Middleton-Hope.

"I find his evidence to be believed," she said.

The presiding officer said she did not believe HH, who had testified that there had been "an aggressive, physical struggle, at which time a gun was held to her head."

Chu's statement points out that in his press conference last Thursday, the councillor "unequivocally said that there was no gun involved … and he passed a polygraph question on that exact issue.

'We don't take victims seriously,' says Mayor Gondek

Last week, CBC News also reported that Chu was involved in a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm, confirmed through court records.

On Thursday, Chu announced he wouldn't be stepping down, as he was duly re-elected and was never criminally charged.

Over the weekend, two rallies took place outside City Hall; one supported Chu, the other called for his resignation.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek has joined most councillors in calling for Chu's resignation. On Monday, she refused to perform the Ward 4 councillor's swearing-in, instead having Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Rooke administer the oath of office.

Gondek says the latest development is not advancing the dialogue.

"What this says to me is we are fixated on the perpetrator instead of the victim," said Gondek.

"We have a systemic problem where we don't take victims seriously."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting