Police charge Alberta mayor with drunk driving: ‘This is a serious matter’

Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston is facing a drunk driving charge after police stopped him after midnight last week, the leader of Alberta’s eighth-largest city has admitted.

In an email to the southeast Alberta city’s media, he confronted rumours about his criminal charge, in the early hours of last Friday.

“I was stopped by the Medicine Hat Police Service while on my way home. An investigation followed and I was subsequently charged with impaired driving,” the email states.

“At this time, these charges are before the courts and on the advice of legal counsel I cannot comment on the matter further. Thank you for your patience, as this is a serious matter.”

I was stopped by the Medicine Hat Police Service while on my way home

Chief Andy McGrogan of the Medicine Hat Police confirmed in a statement Sunday that Clugston was charged with the Criminal Code offence of driving with a blood alcohol level of over .08 milligrams. The mayor’s court date is set for March 10.

The chief said his police officers always do “their best to enforce the law impartially and without favour,” and with integrity, respect and other of the force’s key principles.

“In my review of this matter I can tell you that the officers involved in the arrest and investigation of Mr. Clugston conducted themselves in a way that demonstrated all of those values,” McGrogan’s statement reads. “I can also tell you through my review that Mr. Clugston was cooperative throughout the investigation.”

Ted Clugston, in his late 40s, was elected mayor in 2013 after serving two terms as a Medicine Hat alderman. He recently gained international attention when his city declared it was on track to ending homelessness with an ambitious housing program.

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