McGuinty’s office kept scant records, police documents say
TORONTO – Newly released police documents show the Ontario Provincial Police want the details of every visit made by Peter Faist – the man accused of deleting emails related to the gas plants – to the Ontario Legislative Assembly.
The OPP is seeking visit records between June 1, 2010 and March 20, 2014.
Police allege that during this time, former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff, David Livingston, committed breach of trust by giving access to government computers to a non-government employee.
The Information to Obtain – the documents used by police to obtain a search warrant – detail the gas plants scandal from its outset.
None of the statements made in the documents have been proven in court.
The documents state Livingston first made a request to obtain administrative rights – which would have allowed him to delete anything on the computer – on Jan. 25, 2013. Documents suggest Livingston told David Nicholl, the government’s chief information technology officer, that he needed access to the computers so they’re ready for the transition to the Wynne government, Nicholl told police.
Police documents suggest Livingston was denied, at first. Eventually his executive assistant, Wendy Wai, was given administrative rights to 24 computers within the premier’s office.
Police allege that access was then used by Peter Faist to delete files.
Scandal following Wynne into next mandate
Less than 24 hours before this new round of documents was released, Kathleen Wynne led the Ontario Liberal party to a majority government despite the ongoing allegations thrown at the party over the gas plants scandal.
Both Andrea Horwath and Tim Hudak had tried to entwine her party with the scandal during the election casting her party as “corrupt.”
Her name does appear several times in the documents but only as a reference to the transition to her government.
What did Faist allegedly do with the computer?
The police documents detail through interviews with former government staff what Faist may have done to the premier’s computers.
In one instance, recalled by former staffer Lauren Ramey, Faist logged onto her computer and left it unusable.
“I assume he got rid of something but I don’t know,” she told police, noting she was told they were preparing the computers to give to someone else.
But when Faist allegedly finished with the computer, she couldn’t use it – the screen was black.
“I remember the screen was black, I thought that was weird ‘cause I had like a desktop background and the reason I called Thom [Stenson] was because I didn’t have my Citrix account.”
(Citrix is a separate email account used for political activities related to the Liberal party)
McGuinty’s office ‘not big’ on writing things down
The police documents allege McGuinty’s office had little use for record keeping, suggesting his office “appeared to have a policy of not keeping any records.”
Cabinet secretary Peter Wallace told police in an interview that this practice could be “embarrassing” to the government.
“The only organization that did not maintain records were criminal organizations,” he told police.
And McGuinty admitted the practice in an April 15 interview with an OPP detective, saying “we rarely exchanged, if ever, written arguments against each other.”