TORONTO—Ontario’s governing Liberals have decided taxpayers will no longer be on the hook for about $10,000 they paid a computer expert to allegedly wipe hard drives in the premier’s office.
Court documents released last week show Ontario Provincial Police allege a computer expert with no security clearance was paid to delete documents in former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office.
Police investigating deleted documents on the cancellation of two gas plants at a cost of up to $1.1 billion allege the payment of taxpayer money to Peter Faist, the spouse of McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff, was made by Liberal Caucus Services.
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s press secretary says in a statement that the Ontario Liberal Party executive council voted Monday to cover the payment so no tax dollars go toward work currently under police investigation.
Zita Astravas says the payment “is in no way intended as a prejudgment or comment upon the findings of the ongoing police investigation.”
She says they had no information until the release of the court documents that any services invoiced by Faist were related to matters under investigation.
Lawyers representing Faist and his spouse Laura Miller have said their clients did nothing wrong.
The New Democrats said “it’s a sad state of affairs” when it takes a police investigation for the Liberals to admit they were wrong.
“They wasted billions. They did everything they could to destroy the evidence and cover it up. And Kathleen Wynne is continuing the cover up by protecting Peter Faist and Laura Miller,” NDP house leader Gilles Bisson said in a statement.