Scathing report into Alison Redford’s expenses sparks RCMP investigation
CALGARY- The former premier of Alberta could face criminal charges, in light of a scathing auditor general’s report which outlined improper spending of taxpayer dollars.
According to the report, Alison Redford used government aircraft for personal and partisan purposes, and was involved in a plan to convert space in a public building into personal living space, referred to as the “sky palace.”
“There was a tendency to work around and ignore rules,” Merwan Saher said Thursday, after the release of his much-anticipated report on government travel and other expenses.
RCMP confirm they have received the report, and are reviewing it for possible further action.
“If it is determined that an investigation is not warranted, then we would advise the complaintant privately of the results. If it is determined that an investigation is warranted, then one will be initiated in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, the evidence obtained and the privacy of those involved,” explains Sgt. Josee Valiquette. “The RCMP would not offer any comments in the course of the investigation.”
Alberta Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said he has secured the help of attorneys in Ontario, should the RCMP require assistance.
“This will ensure a fully independent investigation,” he said, during a news conference on Thursday.
Experts say an investigation would likely look into if a breach of trust charge is warranted, which is what happens when someone in government gains benefit through falsification or deceit.
“The deceit and falsehoods are all part of establishing the offense, and I think as I have indicated by the fact that they have covered up allegedly who was on the plane, that shows the deceit,” says ormer RCMP investigator Garry Clement. “I think it goes to the individual’s state of mind at the time.”
RCMP say they don’t know how long the review process will take.