In a recent development in the legal arena, Wheatland County Councilor Glenn Koester emerged victorious in his challenge against Wheatland County in the Alberta Court of King’s Bench.

The final decision (filed as of March 1) marks a significant turn in a saga that began in December 2022.

Koester's challenge stemmed from sanctions imposed on him following an alleged violation of the council's code of conduct.

The complaint, initially filed by County Reeve Amber Link on March 1, 2022, accused Koester of misconduct related to his actions within the Wheatland and Adjacent Districts Emergency Medical Services (WADESMA) and the Wheatland Housing Management Body (WHMB) boards of directors.

In his defense, Koester, supported by affidavits from Councilor Rick Laursen and Town Councilor Denise Peterson, contested the allegations outlined in the complaint.

He highlighted discrepancies in the investigation process, particularly the lack of clear attribution of evidence and flawed reasoning in the reports.

The Court of King’s Bench's citation (publicly available) criticized the investigation report's deficiencies, noting its failure to provide intelligible summaries of witness testimonies.

Moreover, the report was deemed to lack transparency and justification in its conclusions regarding Koester's alleged breaches of the code of conduct.

Specifically addressing the WHMB issue, the citation described the investigation report's reasoning as "clearly flawed," leading to the conclusion that no reasonable municipality would have found Koester in breach of the code.

Consequently, the resolutions against Koester were quashed entirely by the court.

"Our firm is proud to announce that our associate, Colby Georgsen, recently secured a victory for our client, Councillor Glenn Koester, on a judicial review application to the Alberta Court of King’s Bench. Councillor Koester’s application challenged sanctions passed against him by Wheatland County Council in April 2022," it stated in a Facebook post by Getz Collins and Associates.

"In overturning the sanctions, the Court ruled that no reasonable body would have found that Councillor Koester had breached the Code of Conduct, and the process used by Council in passing the sanctions was not transparent, intelligible, or justified." 

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