Taxpayers picking up legal fees for Liberal staffers in scandal


#1

Taxpayers picking up legal fees for Liberal staffers in scandal

When the executive director of the B.C. Liberal Party got slapped with criminal charges in Ontario, she started an online “crowdfunding”page to help pay her legal fees.

The Laura Miller Defence Fund has raised nearly $60,000 so far, including generous donations from several well-placed Liberals.

That’s the way things work in Ontario: You get charged with a crime, you pay for your own lawyer, even if it means raising money on the Internet.

Things work a little differently here in British Columbia, where the government has a “legal indemnification” program in which taxpayers pay the legal fees of insiders who get in trouble with the law.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/smyth+taxpayers+picking+legal+fees+liberal+staffers+scandal/11659656/story.html


#2

nothing new there remember BCRail trial, same thing the ppl were guilty but because of government policy the government paid their fees, all BC Provincial governments did this from socreds, ndp to liberals. is it right no, but is it an issue that taxpayers care about? i don’t think so either so until there is a big petition to get rid of it it will continue on no matter what party is in power


#3

I think for the most part, no. Most taxpayers probably don’t care or don’t know that their tax dollars are paying legal fees. I do care.


#4

Well according to the article.

“The indemnity program says anyone found guilty of a crime must pay the money back. But history shows it doesn’t always work that way.Former Liberal government insiders Dave Basi and Bob Virk
were indemnified for their legal fees in the famous B.C. Rail scandal.The two men originally pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in the government’s notorious sale of B.C. Rail to CN Rail.They
changed their pleas to guilty in 2010, just as a long list of powerful government and Liberal party insiders were set to take the witness stand.So did Basi and Virk pay for their own lawyers after
pleading guilty? Nope. As part of a plea bargain, the government agreed to pay their legal Therebill: a jaw-dropping $6 million.”

There is a clear distinction here. If an employee is charged with a criminal offense during the course of their duties, the employer will pay for their legal fees. If found guilty then the employer can get the money back or at least try to. That seems fair for both employee and employer.

In the BCRail trial, the government paid for the legal fees in exchange for a guilty plea to prevent key people from testifying. That is a very different scenario.