No ethics rules broken by former top bureaucrat in SNC-Lavalin scandal: watchdog

Click to play video: 'SNC-Lavalin pleads guilty to fraud, to pay $280M fine'
SNC-Lavalin pleads guilty to fraud, to pay $280M fine
Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, and will pay a $280-million fine for bribes the company made to secure projects in Libya years ago. Abigail Bimman has reaction to the deal, and what it means for the company – Dec 18, 2019

The federal ethics commissioner says there is no reason to believe former Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick broke the conflict of interest law during the SNC-Lavalin affair.

In a report today, commissioner Mario Dion says he will therefore not undertake a full examination of the allegation and considers the matter closed.

READ MORE: Top bureaucrat Michael Wernick to step down April 19 after SNC-Lavalin controversy

In late September, the public sector integrity commissioner referred to Dion an accusation of conflict of interest against Wernick concerning his actions while he was the top public servant.

Such referrals require the ethics watchdog to take an initial look at the matter and issue a report.

Click to play video: 'Wernick says ‘new facts’ in SNC-Lavalin was ‘tanking share prices’'
Wernick says ‘new facts’ in SNC-Lavalin was ‘tanking share prices’

An unidentified individual alleged to the integrity commissioner that Wernick had inappropriately pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould, when she was justice minister and attorney general, to pursue negotiations with Montreal-based firm SNC-Lavalin towards a deferred prosecution agreement.

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Such a deal would have seen the firm avoid criminal prosecution for corruption and fraud.

READ MORE: ‘All of this screams’ of political interference, Wilson-Raybould tells Wernick in SNC-Lavalin tape

While Dion ruled in a separate report that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did break ethics rules by improperly interfering in the case, he suggested in the report issued on Tuesday that Wernick did not do so when he carried out directions from the prime minister.

SNC-Lavalin’s construction division pleaded guilty in December to a charge of fraud over $5,000.

The company will pay a $280-million penalty and will be subject to a three-year probation order.

Click to play video: 'Former SNC-Lavalin executive sentenced to 8.5 years in prison'
Former SNC-Lavalin executive sentenced to 8.5 years in prison

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