Staff member had ‘lapse in judgment’ in release of information: Wall

Premier Brad Wall will be the first Saskatchewan Party candidate nominated for the upcoming provincial election in 2016.
Saskatchewan Premier cites an official's 'lapse in judgment' in release of information. File / Global News

REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says a senior staff member had a lapse in judgment when she sent information about a care aide’s employment record to reporters. The Saskatchewan privacy commissioner is investigating whether the provincial government violated the worker’s privacy when it released parts of his personnel file to the media.

Peter Bowden, a care aide at Oliver Lodge in Saskatoon, was suspended with pay.

Bowden told reporters in late March that residents at the home were at risk of skin infections because they were left in soiled diapers and bedding for up to 10 hours.

Reporters learned of Bowden’s suspension in an email sent by a government source.

READ MORE: Privacy commissioner investigates email to media

The province says Bowden was suspended because of an investigation into allegations of misconduct in the workplace, not because he went public with his allegations.

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Wall said Monday the senior staff member has been removed from the file and has had an exemplary record otherwise.

“What I had asked for is that general information be provided to the media on background,” he said. “The first email in my view met that test … a second email went to one reporter … that had specific information.”

“While I believe it was also offered on background and not ever intended to be made public, it still went beyond my request for general information.”

NDP Leader Cam Broten has been criticizing the government for releasing the information.

“It’s just not believable that (Wall) would not have been briefed on this, that he would not have known what is going on,” he said.