Skip to main content

'A mockery': No one will say why Catholic trustee Smiley quit a week after the vote


The chair of Edmonton Catholic Schools is refusing to say why a fellow trustee quit a week after being reelected by acclamation - and Carla Smiley is not speaking publicly either.

"It would be inappropriate for us to discuss any individual reasons for resignation. That disclosure rests with the individual and in this case with Mrs. Smiley," chair Sandra Palazzo said in an interview Thursday.

Smiley quit on Tuesday and the announcement was made during a board meeting on Wednesday.

Smiley has not responded to multiple messages from CTV News Edmonton.

No date had been set for a by-election to replace Smiley, but a revote could cost the school board thousands of dollars.

"It's unfortunate that the division will be incurring these costs related to a by-election but we'll move forward," Palazzo said.

Smiley was first elected in 2017. She was unopposed in the Oct. 21 vote.

"It's very rare for individuals to actually win and then refuse to take the position," political scientist Chaldeans Mensah said.

A similar case happened in Sturgeon County this week - with a councillor-elect there quitting for "personal reasons." Ron Shaw also did not publicly release his explanation.

Mensah said both resignations make a "mockery and a mess" of the democratic process.

"Be upfront and share that information with the public. I think they'll be more understanding and more supportive," he advised.

Smiley's Twitter account shared an anti-vaccination article on Oct. 26, however it was not known if that played a factor in her resignation.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson Top Stories

Stay Connected