EDMONTON - An Alberta politician who was on government business in Minnesota when he was charged following a police prostitution sting has been offered a plea deal.
But Mike Allen's lawyer, Dave Risk, says his client won't even consider the offer until more details in the case are released at his next court hearing, set for Nov. 13 in St. Paul, Minn.
"They did make an offer to reduce the charges, but we're not even in a position to consider the offer at this point without having reviewed all the evidence," Risk said Tuesday in an interview from his office in Bloomington, Minn.
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Allen was charged with a gross misdemeanour of solicitation of prostitution in a public place in St. Paul on July 16.
The 51-year-old member of the legislature for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo resigned from Premier Alison Redford's Progressive Conservative caucus immediately after the arrest and now sits as an Independent.
The charge carries maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Risk said the prosecutor has offered to drop that to a misdemeanour.
The reduced charge would still carry the possibility of jail time, but Risk suggested legal precedent and the facts of the case make that highly improbable.
"He's not going to have to do any (jail) time no matter what. That's not realistic," said Risk.
Allen could not be reached for comment. His constituency office directed media calls to Risk.
The case was back before a judge in St. Paul on Tuesday for formal reading of the charges. Allen was not present.
Allen was arrested while representing the province on a trip.
Police allege he phoned a number from an erotic online ad, took a limousine to a motel where he met with an undercover female police officer.
It's alleged Allen agreed to pay for sex with two women, put $200 on the counter, and began to undress when other officers entered the room and arrested him.
Allen is single with grown adult children. He has not discussed specifics of the case except to say: "This has not been a pattern of behaviour in the past and clearly it will not be in the future."
Allen told the Fort McMurray Today newspaper he ended a serious relationship prior to the St. Paul trip and was lonely.
The Opposition Wildrose party has called for Allen to resign, saying he can't function as a public representative while facing criminal charges.
NDP Leader Brian Mason has not gone that far, but has said if convicted, Allen needs to resign.
Allan has said he will make up his mind before Oct. 28, when the fall sitting of the legislature begins.
The rookie member of the legislature has said he will talk with his constituents before deciding if he can still represent their interests.
In the meantime, he has returned to the public arena by attending government functions, including the economic summit at the University of Alberta earlier this month.
Should he continue on in his job, he will sit on the opposition side of the house, likely beside the NDP. That would put his chair directly across the aisle from where he sat as a backbench member for Redford.