No plans to revoke David Sidoo's Order of B.C., Horgan says
David Sidoo is seen in this image from the Order of British Columbia.
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 4:54PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:25PM PDT
Premier John Horgan says he wouldn’t consider revoking David Sidoo's Order of B.C. before the charges against the local philanthropist are tested in court.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Horgan said he's aware Sidoo has been accused in the wide-reaching U.S. college admissions cheating scandal, but noted none of the allegations have been proven.
"Mr. Sidoo is, of course, innocent until found guilty," Horgan said. "I don't feel any responsibility to do anything other than let due process run its course at this point."
Meanwhile, the Vancouver private school previously attended by Sidoo's sons confirmed it's conducting an internal investigation into the allegations.
Documents filed in U.S. federal court allege Sidoo paid to have someone fly in from Tampa, Florida to "secretly take a Canadian high school graduation exam" in place of his older son back in 2012.
On Wednesday, St. George's School issued a statement saying it "takes this matter very seriously" but that its 2012 records indicate "there were no school or provincial exams written at St. George's School by the student in question on or around the date named in the indictment."
St. George's did not respond to questions about whether any students took any graduation exams off school grounds that year.
Lawyers for Sidoo also stressed neither of the sons have been accused of impropriety, and both have "achieved great accomplishments in their own right."
"Any attack on the Sidoo children is unwarranted," lawyers Richard A. Schonfeld, David Z. Chesnoff and Martin G. Weinberg said in a statement. "We urge the media to recognize that Mr. Sidoo is presumed innocent and that he intends to appear in court Friday, plead not guilty, and exercise his right to defend himself against the current accusation."
The U.S. indictment also alleges Sidoo paid $100,000 a piece for someone to take SATs for both his sons, first in 2011 and again in 2012. He is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The same investigation, which American authorities dubbed Project Varsity Blues, also led to charges against a number of other celebrities, including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.
The actors have not responded to the charges. None of the allegations have been tested in court.