BY BILL TIELEMAN, 24 HOURS COLUMNIST
Will Premier Gordon Campbell’s former deputy minister Jessica McDonald become the new chief executive officer of BC Hydro?
A Victoria source says McDonald may be appointed shortly to replace outgoing CEO and president Bob Elton, who is apparently being pushed out by the BC Hydro board because of independent power producer complaints he was not receptive enough to their interests.
Kyle Mitchell, an Odgers Berndtson executive search firm partner, told 24 hours Thursday the job is still open until a decision is made.
But he declined comment on whether McDonald might be the successful candidate.
McDonald, who made $289,000 a year previously, could double her pay – Elton made $550,000 last year including salary, incentives and benefits.
McDonald resigned last month after serving as Campbell’s deputy minister from 2005.
McDonald's emails and other documents may end up as evidence in the Basi-Virk case - the BC Legislature raid trial - of former BC Liberal government aides David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi, thanks to defence applications.
Certainly her husband Mike McDonald, the BC Liberals former caucus communications director, will be on the witness stand after defence allegations he was supervising political dirty tricks directly out of government office, including stacking phone calls to talk radio station CKNW.
In one April 2007 courtroom disclosure, defence lawyer Kevin McCullough, acting for Virk, outlined Mike McDonald's alleged role:
McCullough quoted a Nov. 23, 2003, document alleging calls being set up to apparently ambush NDP Leader Carole James.
"It's a call in response to Carole James -- she's going to be on the Bill Good Show tomorrow -- Mike [McDonald] asks him to 'get the posse together,'" McCullough said.
"They're not just lobbing softball questions to the premier -- they're setting the stage for calls to the leader of the Opposition," McCullough alleged.