POLITICS

MP Goldring refused to exit pickup truck, police say

12/07/2012 10:26 EST | Updated 02/06/2013 05:12 EST
Edmonton MP Peter Goldring locked the door of his pickup truck and refused to come out after he was pulled over by police last year, a pre-trial hearing heard Friday.

Goldring will go on trial in January on a charge of failing to provide a breath sample. Friday's hearing was held to address a request by Goldring's lawyer for all relevant police communications one hour prior to his client's arrest on Dec. 4, 2011.

Goldring had been stopped by a junior officer parked outside a sports bar on 97th Street and 153rd Avenue just after midnight.

According to the officer, Goldring smelled of alcohol and was acting belligerent.

The officer called Sgt. Conrad Moschansky, supervisor of the Edmonton Police Service impaired driving unit, who was stationed a few blocks away with the Checkstop mobile RV at Northgate Mall on 137th Avenue and 97th Street.

According to Moschansky's notes, Goldring had locked the door to his pickup refusing to come out. A while later Moschansky convinced Goldring to open his window a few inches.

Goldring eventually left his vehicle and was arrested.

Goldring's lawyer Dino Bottos wants to review communications from that night to see if there was any discussion about his client prior to the arrest.

Moschansky told the hearing he listened to 209 radio communications from that night and the only one he identified as relevant was from 11:19 p.m. in which he told control they would begin targeting drunk drivers in north division.

Bottos said the Crown, not police, should vet the communications to see which are relevant.

Katrina Haymond, the lawyer for Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht, argued that second-guessing a police officer on relevant disclosure could set a bad precedent as it could delay other disclosure requests.

Outside court, Bottos said that people should understand that the evidence heard on Friday is only a portion of what will come out during the trial.

"So far what you've heard is from the two investigating officers and it's a fairly one-sided review of the evidence," he said.

"This is not a hearing to test credibility. It's not a hearing to put our side of the story in. That's going to come out in January."

Goldring, who maintains he had only one beer that night at a political fundraiser, resigned from the federal Conservative caucus as a result of the charge, but continues to represent Edmonton East as an Member of Parliament.

A decision on whether to release the police communications will be handed down on Thursday.