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Mayor Mandel a target?

Source says sting cops also wanted Mandel

Stephen Mandel

Cops under investigation for an allegedly improper sting targeting their commission boss and a Sun writer may have also targeted the mayor, a new complaint to the police chief suggests.

A letter from the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association yesterday says information from a confidential source indicates police officers were overheard making inappropriate comments over communications channels about a person who now appears to be Mayor Stephen Mandel.

Officers involved in a stakeout Nov. 18 at a provincial election candidates "meet-and-greet" in the Overtime Broiler and Taproom, 10304 111 St., are currently under scrutiny for allegedly targeting Edmonton Police Commission chairman Martin Ignasiak and Sun columnist Kerry Diotte. The probe follows allegations that officers made comments to suggest the sting was politically motivated.

"During the (police radio) transmissions, there were conversations between the police about a person who was wearing a turtleneck," states the CTLA complaint. "This person was referred to as a 'prick' and 'asshole.' It was mentioned that this person was talking to (Alberta New Democrat Leader) Brian Mason. It appears that this person drove away from the Overtime bar and was followed."

A police officer was then allegedly overheard saying the "prick will probably blow the stop sign" and cops would nab him then, the complaint said. The officer "then expressed disappointment that did not occur," states the CTLA complaint.

Several inquiries about who was wearing a turtleneck at the gathering between politicians and reporters identified only the mayor, the letter concluded.

The mayor's chief of staff told the Sun yesterday Mandel will not comment on the new allegations.

"It's an ongoing investigation. We're not going to muddy it further by commenting on this," said Patricia Misutka. "It would be our expectation that the investigation will uncover the whole truth about this, whatever it might be."

Earlier in the day, Mandel told the Sun he hopes police quickly finish their investigation - which will be reviewed by a Calgary officer - so the public gets answers about the sting. Police have said they went to the bar after a complaint that a drunken patron was going to leave in his car.

Mandel said he had "a couple of ginger ales" before driving home from the event. "No one that I saw had been drinking too much or had any signs of being drunk at all, and I left, I think, about 9:30 p.m. and went home."

Mason told the Sun yesterday he recalls speaking with Mandel that night, as mentioned in the CTLA complaint. The NDP Leader said he parked his tour van at Overtime behind a marked police car.

"Stephen Mandel was just leaving, so I started talking with him outside the front of the restaurant for about five minutes," Mason recalled. "He left and I went inside."

The police are expected to update the Edmonton Police Commission next week on the investigation's progress. Several Sun staffers have been asked to provide statements.