BC's Top Cop Kash Heed owes his election to a campaign manager and financial agent now charged with criminal activity - does anyone see something wrong with this picture?
UPDATE - Kash Heed resigned less than 24 hours after being reappointed by Premier Gordon Campbell. What a Keystone Cops outfit this is!
ORIGINAL POSTING - On Tuesday I wrote about how the BC Liberal government's contempt for democracy had mushroomed out of control and well beyond the HST to other issues.
Little did I know that they would prove my point in spades by the end of the afternoon!
First Premier Gordon Campbell returned BC Liberal MLA Kash Heed to the position of Solicitor General - BC's Top Cop - despite the fact that his 2009 election campaign manager Barinder Sall has been charged with two criminal counts of obstruction of justice, one count of submitting a fraudulent document, two counts of obstructing an elections official and one of improper election advertising - all connected to a dirty tricks election flyer mailed in bulk to Heed's Vancouver Fraserview riding that targeted NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu - who lost by less than 800 votes.
In addition, Heed's campaign financial agent Satpal Johl faces an election violation charge and Dinesh Khanna - the mailing firm owner - faces obstruction of justice and election act charges.
But then it got even more outrageous.
The independent Special Prosecutor who cleared Heed while recommending charges against Sall, Johl and Khanna announced his sudden resignation from his position - because his law firm had given $1000 to Kash Heed's 2009 campaign!
Special Prosecutor Terry Robertson quit late Tuesday after sending a letter to Assistant Deputy Attorney General Robert Gillen saying that because Robertson's firm Harper Grey had made the $1000 donation to Heed's campaign - the very campaign Robertson was investigating.
And Robertson admits that he knew about the contribution at the time of his appointment but did not believe it "would preclude me from acting as Special Prosecutor."
Hell no - why would knowing your firm gave $1000 bucks to help elect the guy whose campaign you are now investigating for - wait for it - election fraud - be a problem?
What's even more astonishing is that the RCMP told him he was in conflict! And he overruled their objections!
"Several weeks before charge approval, I was asked by the RCMP whether I felt there was a conflict of interest due to my firm making a campaign contribution. I provided my opinion that I did not feel there was a conflict," Robertson wrote.
Even BC Liberal Attorney General Mike de Jong got that part clearly.
Here's what an unhappy de Jong had to say:
“You don’t appoint someone to investigate a matter when a firm they are associated with has made a donation to the very campaign which is the subject of the investigation.”
"It’s surprising, frustrating and unacceptable to learn that appointment was made,” de Jong said. I might remind readers that de Jong is not the NDP critic - he is a cabinet minister.
The result of all this is that another Special Prosecutor must be appointed immediately - and he or she may not have the same view that Kash Heed has been completely exonerated and is free to resume his duties as Solicitor General.
The whole matter now stinks worse than before - and is another clear indication that Premier Gordon Campbell doesn't care what anyone thinks - because he is quickly on his way out of office.
What other explanation is there for such astonishingly inept, insulting and downright stupid behaviour?
But there is still more to this sordid story - stay tuned.