Kash Heed and BC’s special prosecutor system

On May 3rd, 2010 Special Prosecutor Terrance Robertson issued his report on possible offences involving the campaign office of Kash Heed.  While recommending a total of nine charges against various members of Heed’s campaign team, Robertson absolved Heed of any involvement.

The next day Robertson resigned, citing a perceived conflict of interest related to the contribution his firm made to Heed’s campaign.

The issue of the day was Heed, his campaign team and who did what to hide the illegal leaflets.  But Robertson’s perceived conflict got some play and on May 19th Attorney General Mike DeJong announced the appointment of Stephen Owen to review how special prosecutors are appointed.

With the new allegations against Heed that have emerged it’s hard not to question both the terms of Owen’s appointment and the conclusions he came to.

In other words, with every new allegation Owen’s appointment and report looks like a whitewash.

Here’s the problem:  Owen didn’t review the actions of Special Prosecutor Robertson to determine if Robertson’s apparent conflict had real repercussions for the case.   And that means Owen couldn’t answer the real questions in the case, such as:

  • Did Robertson let Heed off based on reasoning that wasn’t supported by the evidence gathered in the case?
  • Did Robertson ensure the thoroughness of the investigation, particularly with regard to Heed?
  • Did the police agree with Robertson’s decisions regarding Heed?

From the recently released warrants it appears that the investigation was on-going when Robertson made his decision not to charge Heed.  Search warrants were still being obtained and executed and some of those warrants led to the current allegations.   As well, the NDP has revealed the Chief Electoral Officer ordered an audit and was pursuing legal action against Heed as Owen was ‘investigating’ the issues.

With the blinders Owen assumed, the best he could come up with was to recommend “when a MLA is the subject of investigation, no lawyer who has donated, or whose firm has donated, to that MLA’s campaign be appointed as special prosecutor.”  But even that recommendation had no basis in an actual investigation of what occurred.

Which leaves a lot of big holes.  For example, what should the rules around special prosecutors be if the government itself is or could be the subject of an investigation, for example if it decided to sell a railroad corruptly?

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3 Responses to Kash Heed and BC’s special prosecutor system

  1. Donna says:

    BC is a, corrupt bottomless pit of a cesspool. You can’t rationalize someone who isn’t rational. There are tons of, blatant lies and corruption to dig out. Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR, was a dirty, corrupt deal, right from day one. BC will remain, dirty and corrupt, until the BC Liberals are run out of this province. I mean, we can speculate about special prosecutors. What does Christy Clark and her brother Bruce know about the corrupt sale. Should De Jong have taken our tax dollars, to pay the two patsies legal fees? We all know of the BC Liberals evil doings. We know of Campbell’s dirty tactics, we can connect all of the dots. We know the referendum, will be just another scam. We know Campbell and Hansen lied, regarding the HST. We know all of the crap, going on in BC. Craig James, changing the wording of the recall act. The media is Campbell’s propaganda machine. The judicial system is corrupt. The police are corrupt. Campbell has dirtied everything he touched. Have you noticed, anything beneath his dignity, he wouldn’t do? I haven’t.

  2. PG says:

    Ian, perhaps this issue has more to do with the RCMP. The questions about whether the RCMP agreed with Robertson are why he is not on the case any longer….

    Why am I reminded about Nathen Cullen’s comments in the Globe story from a few years back…

    I was also interested in the Christy Clark defence of Jamie Elmhirst today on Global. They did a balanced story and gave face time to both Farnworth and Horgan. Horgan had the best line of the day!

  3. Norm Farrell says:

    Probably, Owens did exactly what he was hired to do. Had Attorney General Mike de Jong wanted a real examination of the Special Prosecutor system, he would not have hired the former Deputy Attorney General who designed the procedures. Owens, ex-employee of this government is now VP of an organization dependent on the same government.

    He lacked impartiality and independence. Any adverse finding would have required Owens to find fault with his own system design and or fault with its implementation by people who essentially are his colleagues.

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