Dalton McGuinty was in Burlington last month promoting his book on his political career. He told an audience that he considered David Livingston, McGuinty’s last chief of staff, and deputy-chief Laura Miller who have been charged with breach of trust, mischief in relation to data and misuse of a computer system. “honest and hard-working.” The two were charged after it was revealed they had caused government hard drives to be wiped of any trace of emails and memos that might have shed some light on the cancellation of two gas electric generation plants under construction. It must be a bit awkward for the former premier, or any other political leader in similar circumstances for that matter, to try to convince people he had no knowledge of what was going on; when everyone in politics knows that it is the job of political staff to “take one for the boss.” Look at Nigel Wright in Stephen Harper’s office paying $90,000 to make the Mike Duffy mess go away, and Harper’s mock outrage. It is entirely possible, even likely, that the former Premier did not explicitly order the erasure and was not specifically told about it subsequently. Still, given the time-honoured practice of political staff throwing themselves under the bus that exists in the inner sanctums of political leaders; one could be reasonably sure that thanks to the loyalty of staff, there would be no fingerprints.
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