The Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario says two Ontario Liberals apparently violated the Elections Act in the Sudbury byelection job bribery scandal,
has now officially turned the matter over to the province’s Attorney General for further investigation by justice officials.
“Having reviewed the evidence and findings from this regulatory investigation, I am of the opinion that the actions of Gerry Lougheed Jr. and Patricia Sorbara amount to apparent contraventions of subsection 96.1(e) of the Election Act,” Essensa’s report says. “Consequently, I have reported this matter to the Attorney General of Ontario in accordance with section 4.0.2 of the Election Act.”
The Chief Electoral Officer launched an investigation after receiving opposition party complaints that Sorbara and Lougheed offered Sudbury Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier a job or appointment to abandon his run for the byelection nomination to make way for their preferred candidate, federal NDP MP Glenn Thibeault, in contravention of the Election Act.
Essensa said he is satisfied that there is more than a “fair probability” that the law was broken, and so proceeded with the unprecedented action.
“No Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario has ever conducted a regulatory investigation into allegations of bribery or ever reported an apparent contravention of the home statues of my office to the Attorney General,” Essensa said in his report.
96.1 of the Elections Act says
No person shall, directly or indirectly,
(e) give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office or employment to induce a person to become a candidate, refrain from becoming a candidate or withdraw his or her candidacy. 1998, c. 9, s. 44.
Chief electoral officer’s report here.
Audio: Conversation between Local Liberal organizer and fundraiser Gary Lougheed and Andrew Olivier Dec 11, 2014 .
[button color=”red” size=”medium” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm8bp9ZKUQU” icon=”” target=”true”]HERE[/button]
Audio: Conversation between Premier Wynne’s Deputy Chief of Staff Pat Sorbara and Andrew Olivier December 12 2014
[button color=”red” size=”medium” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nhSDau0tuw” icon=”” target=”true”]HERE[/button]