Former Alberta justice minister accused of professional misconduct

Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis attends a news conference in Edmonton on Thursday Aug 7, 2014. Denis is being accused of professional misconduct, according to the Law Society of Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson. JF

Former Alberta justice minister Jonathan Denis is being accused of professional misconduct, according to the Law Society of Alberta.

According to the law society’s website, Denis is accused of acting for a person named R.M. while in a conflict of interest.

He also allegedly threatened to make a complaint to a regulatory authority in an attempt to gain a benefit for a client named C.K.

The Law Society of Alberta did not provide additional details about the allegations and said complaints and investigations are confidential.

“When issues or complaints about lawyers are brought to our attention, we assess each matter according to a process that is fair and consistent for both the lawyer involved and those providing the information,” said Rachel Provencher, the law society’s communications advisor.

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A date for the hearing has not been set.

Denis served as Alberta’s justice minister for two terms and returned to private practice after losing his seat during the 2015 provincial election.

Denis was found in contempt of court last year after his lawyer sent a letter to a witness testifying in a trial.

The letter allegedly intimidated the witness, former chief medical examiner Dr. Anny Sauvageau, who was suing the province over lost wages when her contract was not renewed in 2014. Denis was the justice minister at the time.

That finding was overturned last October after all three judges unanimously agreed the original decision was “procedurally flawed.”

— with files from Sarah Ryan, Global News

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