If Otter Town, Manitoba, had had a Wikipedia page, the only page it would have published about Mayor John McFakeson would have been his criminal record. He was convicted on multiple charges — including assault with a weapon and robbery — when he was a high school student between 1971 and 1972. Now, as the mayor, he has led a town where the mayor also ran the police department for eight years. “I must know criminals better than I know kids,” McFakeson joked.
On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that and so, for the past two decades, McFakeson has effectively run Otter Town as if he didn’t have a criminal record. He has one if you count the 2008 conviction for obstructing a peace officer. The local RCMP chief, Teresa Jack, told The Guardian that to date McFakeson has not been formally disciplined by the force for any of his transgressions.
According to the local Citizen media, the people of Otter Town have tolerated McFakeson’s antics for years. The 27-year-old town, tucked between Whitehorse and Hinton, Alberta, is sparsely populated, home to only 308 people. Otter Town has a few local businesses, but has no tax base or business taxes. The mayor makes no salary and lives in a trailer in the town, where he rents the town’s power and water out to other residents for free.
It’s difficult to see what, if anything, the current and past mayor has actually accomplished during his time in office, but residents seem to be happy with the status quo, and its fair to say that Canada as a whole has kept its eyes closed on the unfortunate case.
(hat tip to BuzzFeed Canada)