Two McGuinty aides charged in gas plant scandal to appear in court
Chief of staff and deputy are charged with breach of trust and mischief
TORONTO—Two former Ontario premier’s senior aides have court appearances today on charges related to a government scandal over the cancellation of gas plants.
Laura Miller, who had been Dalton McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff, and David Livingston, who was McGuinty’s chief of staff, are charged with breach of trust and mischief.
The two were charged following a police investigation into the deletion of emails on the Liberals’ decision to cancel two gas-fired electrical generating stations prior to the 2011 election.
Police alleged in court documents that Livingston and Miller hired Miller’s partner, Peter Faist—a computer expert under contract to the Ontario Liberal Party—who was given a special password by Livingston to wipe clean about 20 hard drives in the premier’s office.
Both Miller and Livingston have denied the charges, and Miller has hired high-profile Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby to defend her.
It’s not known if either will appear in court in person.
Miller has raised more than $62,000 through a crowdsourcing website for her legal defence. The Ontario Liberal Party said it has not paid any of her legal fees.
Ontario’s auditor general determined that cancelling the gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville and building them elsewhere will cost ratepayers up to $1.1 billion, prompting the opposition parties to call the decision “an expensive Liberal seat-saver campaign.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne used the Liberal majority to shut down legislative committee hearings into the deleted documents last year before Miller and Faist could be called to face questions about the wiping of the hard drives in the premier’s office.