Ex-MP to review special prosecutor process
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:48AM PDT
The B.C. government is appointing a former Liberal MP to review how the province appoints special prosecutors after a political scandal that led to the resignation of former solicitor general Kash Heed.
Attorney General Mike de Jong says Stephen Owen drafted the terms that led to B.C.'s special prosecutor system 20 years ago and that he will now examine the criteria for selecting special prosecutors.
De Jong says the review to be completed by July 15 will also examine whether political donations, activities or affiliations should bar a lawyer from acting as a special prosecutor.
Vancouver Lawyer Terry Robertson resigned from the Heed case last month, shortly after producing a report that cleared Heed of allegations of campaign finance irregularities but led to charges against three campaign officials.
Robertson said his position may have involved a conflict of interest because his law firm donated $1,000 to Heed's 2009 campaign and that he personally donated $1,000 to the Liberal party after the election.
Bill Berardino, the special prosecutor in the legislature raid trial, is listed as "principal officer" for two donations in 2005 by his then-law firm, which gave $500 to former attorney general Wally Oppal and $100 to the Liberals, although he says by then he'd already been special prosecutor for a year.