Thursday, June 14, 2007

Erik Bornmann, Basi-Virk key Crown witness alleged to have bribed government officials, passes New York State bar exam

Key witness passes NY bar exam

Basi-Virk trial

June 14, 2007


Erik Bornmann, the subject of police allegations filed in B.C. Supreme Court that he bribed two provincial government officials involved in the $1 billion B.C. Rail privatization, has passed the New York State bar examination required to become a lawyer, 24 hours has exclusively learned.

Bornmann is the key Crown witness in the trial of ex-ministerial aides David Basi and Bob Virk. They face breach of trust and fraud charges for allegedly taking benefits to provide inside B.C. Rail information to Bornmann, then a lobbyist for OmniTRAX, one of the bidders.

But Bornmann could become a New York lawyer there if he successfully completes two more tests, says John McAlary, Executive Director of the New York State Board of Law Examiners.

"Mr. Bornmann passed the exam but he is not certified for admission," McAlary told 24 hours from Albany, New York. "He's not been admitted to the New York bar because he's missing his Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam."

"That ethics exam is required to be admitted," McAlary said. "He may have taken the test but not filed it with us."

McAlary said Bornmann must also be approved by the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division.

"The Appellate Division would do a background check and determine if he passed the 'good character' test," McAlary said.

When told by 24 hours of allegations that Bornmann bribed public officials, McAlary responded: "That would be unusual, even in New York."

Bornmann's lawyer George Macintosh declined to comment when contacted by 24 hours.
McAlary confirmed that Bornmann passed the New York exam in July 2006.

Bornmann left an articling law student position at the Toronto firm McCarthy Tetrault after 24 hours reported about it last year.

Bornmann also withdrew an application for admission to the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario prior to a 'good character' hearing scheduled for November 2006.

Bornmann's lawyer at the time had asked that the media and public be banned from that hearing or a publication ban be imposed.


Aaron said...

Another interesting development. Bill can you tell me where i can get a job that pays me $300,000 lets me allegedly bribe public officials, continue to lobby after admitting to this, attend official state luncheons hosted by a prime minister and then be allowed to finish law school, actually obtain an articling position with one of the biggest law firms in Canada and now as you just revealed apply to the bar in the US?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the americans can send Jack Abramoff up to Canada where he can team up with Kiearn and set up a new consulting business. The first client - the "blabby deputy minister" Paul Taylor. First assignment, how to secure clients.

Anonymous said...

Well, if he can't get admitted to the bar in New York, then maybe he should try Punjab. Hmm, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"Bornmann also withdrew an application for admission to the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario prior to a 'good character' hearing scheduled for November 2006.

Bornmann's lawyer at the time had asked that the media and public be banned from that hearing or a publication ban be imposed."

Why would there be a need to have a media ban from a 'good character' hearing? What exactly is Bornmann trying to hide?

Jess said...

Unfreakin-believeable Bill, this guy doesn't get it, does he?

Alleged bribers of public officals should not be allowed to practice law, even in New York.

What does the Special Prosecutor think of this latest development? You think that he should answer questions about Bornmann applying to be a Lawyer in any country in the world. Remember, Erik loves to travel.

I do hope that Bill Berardino awakens to the fact that he needs to do the right thing regarding the special treatment/ handling of these lobbyist. Charge them all!!

QT said...

Unbelievable Bill, simply unbelievable!! I suppose we should expect to hear any day now that Brian Kieran has been hired by the Provincial Government to craft a new "ethics" policy for the Lobbyist Registrar in BC!!

Jim said...

Only in bc could we have corrupt lobbyists running around with not a care in the world.

Deep Throat said...

I wonder if Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino and Ms McKay have written a reply to Justice Elizabeth Bennett excellent questions regarding Erik Bornmann’s (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) deal / no deal.

Or, I wonder if Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino and Ms McKay are still having trouble writing up their response to Justice Elizabeth Bennett and are now considering her kind offer “…if there is a problem with answering the questions” to “…bring the matter back to court”.

And finally if it is the latter case, I wonder if he they are now carefully considering Mark Twain’s sage advice when faced with such a difficult quandary which is: “When in doubt tell the truth!”

Anonymous said...

I still don’t understand how this Bronman has some kind of special deal with the prosecution and yet there is no record of any such agreement with the crown, or so the crown tells us. How can this be ?

It’s almost as if the Crown is being deliberately incompetent in order for this thing to get tossed out of court. Maybe Berardino knows this and this is the real reason why he will not set foot in the court room and is instead leaving his assistant to do all of the dirty work. It’s like the QB throwing the game so his team will loose.

I also don’t get why Basi does not produce the agreement or any check stubbs proving he was paid to be some kind of insider super spy. If the guy was really paid $ 10 grand where is his proof ? So far the guy has made every allegation in the book but has provided squat to back up his story.

Makes you wonder what is really going on in this whole mess. Either way, the crown has been and continues to be a joke. The way this trial is going; does anyone doubt it will end up getting tossed ?

I can’t wait to see what evidence the crown actually produces, hopefully they have more than just smoke and mirrors as the defense has thus far produced.

JD said...

Anonymous 9:06 the only smoke and mirrors produced so far has come from the "I am not in a conflict sgt. debruyckere" and his merry band of misfits also known as the rcmp. Add to this the "gary collins is not under investigation" line that his lawyer clark roberts tried to spin and what you have is one big mess that isn't going to go away. I can't wait to get the response from the invisible special prosecutor on his deal/no deal/not really a deal/ i don't remember what the deal is/ with the suddenly not so star witness bornmann aka spiderman.
I just reviewed your posts on the judges decision, it looks to me the only side that used smoke and mirrors with a touch of bs was the rcmp and the sp.

Anonymous said...

The idea that any crook would be paid by cheque is sort of amusing.It's cash baby every time dl

Jeff said...

Bill, where are the now infamous lobbyists? Bornmann is trying to get accepted to the bar. Maybe he could try getting accepted to the bar in Iraq or Afghanistan, I hear they need lawyers out there. They don't really put too much stock into "ethics", he should fit right in.
Last thing I heard Kieran was holed up on one of the gulf islands where he lives next door to a "blabby deputy minister". Wasn't there something about Kieran suddenly "retiring" just before information was released where he admits to bribing public officials. Now thats a coincidence.
Whatever happened to Elmhirst? Last I heard he quit as president of the liberal party to spend more time on his business. There must be a market for lobbyists linked to bribery and who knows what! Where do we find him, can't see a website or anything else with his smiling face.

Budd Campbell said...

Bill, your efforts to keep track of Bornmann's movements are the kind of thing the general public needs in a genuine investigative journalist. It is therefore the kind of thing we don't see from the major pundits, be it the Jeff Simpsons in Ottawa or the Vaughn Palmers in Victoria.

But be advised that to many left wing bloggers any talk of Liberal corruption, (including actual court cases!) is regarded as incipient Conservatism. Try taking out an identity on and post your findings about the Basi-Virk case there. See what happens. You'll be denounced by most of the "babblers", including lawyers and former NDP federal candidates who actually use their real names, and eventually suspended or banned by one of the so-called "moderators".

And while babble is primarily an Eastern forum, there are several Vancouver posters who wholeheartedly share the "see no evil" view of Canada's Liberals.

Anonymous said...

I'm still curious about Gary Gibson's affidavit at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Did you ever get anything more substantive on that little detail Bill?

Bill Tieleman said...

I don't believe that the affadavit at the LSUC is a public document.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm sure you're right about that Bill. But, if Bornmann's application is still on file - awaiting, as I recall, the resolution of the trial, presumably the affidavit is still extant.

I think there are interesting connections between that affidavit and Bornmann's actions relative to his role as star prosecution witness for the Basi Boyz. At one point I thought you might have contacted Gary Gibson.

Perhaps I was misinformed. On the other hand, if you did - and he was uncooperative - even that would be an interesting fact for those interested in this case.

Sharon said...

Bill while I was reading through your blog and some of the other coverage of this case I was taken aback by comments made by the clark roberts that gary collins was not under investigation and was told he was not under investigation by the rcmp. You state in your blog that the judge made it clear gary collins was under investigation and the fact there are no notes to show why he suddenly stopped being under investigation is very troubling. I wonder if clark roberts had any comment after the judge made it clear gary collins was at one point under investigation. What gets me is she states clearly that discussions were occuring at the most senior ranks of the rcmp on this very subject. I would be interested in your take and the sudden silence of a once very talkative clark roberts!

BC Mary said...

Bill ... anybody ...

Can you tell us anything at all about why the mysterious Dr Gary Gibson pops up once -- and apparently only once -- in the Erik Bornmann story?

Did Dr Gibson have some role in Bornmann's education, or life, or career?

Is Gibson (a dentist) an unhappy former client? A friend of a friend of an M.L.A.?

Or what??


earseyeswideopen said...

If I am not mistaken, the pretrial evidence informed us that then Sgt. Debruyckere WANTED to investigate Collins; that Sgt. Bishop had very detailed notes that surfaced during the pretrial regarding names of various Ministers & according to the Defence, turned out to be a "treasure trove" of information.

It begs the question WHO above these men got the orders from the BC Libs (the Solicitor General's Office in particular, as evidenced by the pretrial info)to can the investigation on the politicians, including Collins et al?

Wasn't it Assistant Commissioner Gary Bass, now the top dog, Deputy Commissioner, who got the call saying not to investigate Minister Gary Collins?

peter said...

Good points Sharon, where is the suddenly invisible Clark Roberts and his very flappy tongue? Will he refute what the judge stated so clearly for all of us to read.