High-profile BC Liberals helping fund charged former staffer’s legal fees
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 7:22PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 5, 2016 7:44PM PST
A former member of the BC Liberal Party who's facing criminal charges is collecting donations to fund her legal defence, and some high-profile friends have already chipped in to help.
Laura Miller left the provincial Liberals last month after being charged in connection with a destroyed document scandal in Ontario, where she was ex-premier Dalton McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff until 2013.
Miller vowed to fight the charges and clear her name, and has been raising money for her potentially costly defence on the crowdfunding website Fundrazr for almost two weeks.
The campaign has collected more than $31,500 in that time, thanks in part to some BC Liberal friends, including party president Sharon White and Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap.
Asked for comment Tuesday, the party issued an email statement assuring that it’s not contributing any money toward Miller’s legal fees.
“Any contributions made to the private fundraising effort on Fundrazr are personal in nature,” a spokesperson said.
The NDP said the fundraiser is still concerning because the BC Liberal Party and some individual donors are facing their own serious investigations.
“Is there a message being sent here? Laura Miller, don’t forget who your friends are… because we’re the ones donating to your criminal defence,” MLA David Eby said.
“If that’s the message being sent, that’s a major problem.”
Miller told CTV News she’s grateful for all of the contributions she’s received, and that she never intended for the campaign to be public, nor is she seeking donations from the public.
An anonymous donor contributed a whopping $10,000 to the campaign on Tuesday morning.
Miller is charged with breach of trust and mischief in connection with the alleged deletion of emails regarding the Ontario Liberal Party’s decision to cancel the construction of two natural gas power plants.
Former McGuinty chief of staff David Livingston is also charged in the scandal.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Bhinder Sajan