Denis Hall’s presence on Saskatoon’s civic election ballot could cause a big headache for the catholic school board.
Hall withdrew from the race late Monday night after reports surfaced regarding his 1981 conviction for having sex with girls aged 14 to 16 and indecent assault.
However, the withdrawal came after advance polls opened. That means voters will still find his name on the ballot on Oct. 26.
“He is on the slate of candidates and he could be elected,” said Catherine Folkerson, Saskatoon’s returning officer.
Hall’s past was brought up when he ran in 2003, but he still finished in ninth place with 3,762 votes. The seventh-place finisher, the last to gain a seat, received over nine thousand votes.
Folkerson said once the election results are tabulated, the matter would have to be addressed by the catholic board, if Hall gets elected.
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Communications Consultant Derrick Kunz told 650 CKOM if Hall were to be elected, there are two possible scenarios.
The first would be involve Hall upholding a decision to step aside.
In that case, GSCS would be forced to hold a by-election at their own expense.
“It would be quite unfortunate,” Kunz said. “Especially just after a general election.”
The second scenario could be messier. Hall would have the right to take his seat as a board trustee. If he did, Kunz said the options for preventing him from doing so are unclear.
He said in that case, there would be procedures in place to prevent his interaction with children, which could impact Hall’s ability to serve successfully.
“There are measures we can take, and we have taken, to protect our students and staff,” Kunz said, referring to a decision in 2002 to ban Hall and his youth basketball program from entering GSCS facilities.
Attempts to reach Hall for comment beyond his Monday statement announcing the end of his campaign have been unsuccessful.
He noted in his release that his residency in Saskatoon may be “untenable” due to the media attention on his “ancient past.”