Alberta politician charged with paying for prostitutes won't resign seat

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – An Alberta politician charged in Minnesota with paying for prostitutes says he will not resign as a member of the legislature.

Mike Allen, elected in 2012 for the governing Progressive Conservatives, was arrested last week in a prostitution sting while on a government trip in St. Paul.

Allen, 51, said Monday that he needs to explore whether he can rebuild the trust of constituents before he decides whether to stay on as a member of the legislature.

“I will be saying sorry to a lot of people for a long time. I have already faced my parents, my children and many of my friends, and now it is my responsibility to face my community,” he said at a news conference in his constituency office.

“I will be taking time to reflect on the personal circumstances in my life that led me to make the decision I made, and I will determine what I need to do to ensure I am never in a place personally where I will make this kind of mistake ever again.”

Right now Allen continues to sit as the member for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo as an Independent.

He stepped down from the Tory caucus last Tuesday, the morning after his arrest. He also paid back the $2,000 expense tab for the trip.

A court document alleges that Allen phoned a number listed on an online ad and took a limo to a motel, where he met with an undercover female cop.

He allegedly agreed to pay $200 for sex with two women, put the U.S. cash on a counter and began to undress before other officers came into the room and placed him under arrest.

“What I can tell you is that this has not been a pattern of behaviour in the past, and clearly, it will not be in the future,” said Allen.

“Personal accountability means facing my responsibilities as a father, a son, a friends, a community member and as the MLA for this community … Fort McMurray is my home, I love this community and I won’t decline to face it in a moment of personal crisis.”‘

Allen said it’s important for him to speak with people in his home town before he makes a decision on his political future.

“I will not short circuit that conversation by stepping aside immediately, as less difficult a route as that might be for me personally.”