Dalton McGuinty's ex-chief of staff, deputy charged in gas plant scandal
Former Ontario Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty's chief of staff and deputy chief of staff have both been charged with criminal offences over the deletion of computer files about the gas plant scandal.
The former employees, David Livingston and Laura Miller, are accused of deleting thousands of government emails pertaining to the decision to cancel two Greater Toronto Area gas-fired power plants, in Oakville and Mississauga, in the lead-up to the 2011 provincial election. The controversial decision cost Ontario taxpayers $1.1 billion, according to the auditor general.
The OPP said in a release that the charges come after a "complex" investigation into the scandal led by its anti-rackets branch.
The OPP investigation began in June 2013 after McGuinty's resignation as premier.
McGuinty was questioned about the matter by the OPP in April 2014. Months later, provincial police served a court order to Queen's Park staff asking for documents related to the scandal.
Documents released during the police investigation last February showed Livingston and Miller compiled a list of senior Liberal staffers in the then-premier's office whose computers would be purged.
They then hired Miller's partner, IT consultant Peter Faist, to wipe clean dozens of the hard drives on a weekend, the documents alleged.
Miller resigned from her position as executive director of the B.C. Liberal Party Thursday after the charges were announced.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Livingston, 63, of Toronto and Miller, 36, of Vancouver are each charged with:
- Breach of trust.
- Mischief in relation to data.
- Misuse of a computer system to commit the offense of mischief.
The accused are scheduled to make a first appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto on Jan. 27, 2016.