Mayor Henry Braun (right) says Coun. Moe Gill’s claim that his his friends and family have benefitted while he was mayor are ‘an absolute fabrication.’

Gill said release containing favouritism allegations was ‘booboo’: Braun

Mayor says subsequent statements by mayoral foe cast doubt on wish for ‘nice, honest contest’

Coun. Moe Gill told Mayor Henry Braun in August that he didn’t personally approve a press release announcing his candidacy that cast aspersions on the current mayor’s integrity, according to Braun.

But a month later, Gill’s recent statements have left Braun unconvinced that his council colleague of seven years doesn’t intend to return to the theme throughout the upcoming mayor’s race.

Gill has avoided all interview requests since his mayor’s run was announced in early August in a press release that included favouritsm allegations that Braun later called “an absolute fabrication.”

Last week, in response to a commenter’s call for an apology on Gill’s Facebook page, his son replied that his father had spoken with Braun directly “and dealt with it.” Further questions, he said, could be directed at his father, who he said was “easy enough to reach.”

The News has not been able to reach Gill, despite repeated requests for an interview. When asked before an August council meeting if he had spoken to Braun, Gill said The News should ask Braun that question.

RELATED: Mayor calls favouritism allegations ‘an absolute fabrication’

RELATED: Abbotsford councillor refuses to lay out details behind favouritism allegations

Braun confirmed last week that Gill came to him to discuss the situation the day after a story about the allegations was posted to The News’ website.

“He started telling me it wasn’t him – I sensed he was trying to distance himself from it, from those comments,” Braun told The News. “He told me he didn’t authorize the release – instead it was his committee to elect Moe that did something.”

Braun said Gill called it a “boo-boo” and said “the boo-boo shouldn’t have happened.”

He said he asked Gill what he was going to do about it, and Gill said “nothing.”

“He said, ‘I don’t want to inflame the situation.’ I said, ‘Moe, you started a forest fire.’ ”

Gill told Braun that he didn’t plan to call The News back to discuss the situation, which Braun said “kind of shocked me.”

Braun said Gill blamed his committee, and promised “this sort of thing wouldn’t happen again.”

The committee member who sent the email to The News, and who was singled out by name by Gill, has said on Facebook he is no longer part of the campaign.

Braun said Gill expressed a wish for “a nice, honest campaign.”

But Braun says other statements seem to be doubling down on the assertions. They include a post on Gill’s Facebook page, as well as a declaration that supportive evidence for his allegations would be coming out at a later date.

In late August, when The News caught up with Gill before a council meeting, and asked him to describe the evidence, he said, “We have them and when they come out, you’ll find out.”

Braun said he is waiting to see what Gill comes up with, but is worried that any statement will come “a day or two” before the election, when there is minimal time available to respond.

Gill recently spoke at a local Rotary Club meeting, but did not touch on the allegations contained in his opening press release.


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

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