Saturday, June 26, 2010

If John Les walks, so should bureaucrat

Les Leyne reviews the special prosecutor's report on John Les and Chilliwack bureaucrat Grant Sanborn in today's column.
Sanborn faces criminal charges for not doing his duty in processing development applications, including a project led by Les, then the mayor. Charges weren't recommended against Les.
Leyne notes the prosecutor found Les and council were strongly pro-development and encouraged city staff to see regulations and bylaws "as guidelines only, with a goal of finding creative ways to make development opportunities happen."
If the political masters told staff bending the law was OK, then it's wrong to penalize staff alone, Leyne concludes.
Worth a read.


wstander said...

I am no fan of Leyne but on this one he has hit the ball out of the park.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. If you are a municipal manager and you happen to screw up, you can simply blame the Mayor and Council for your errors. This is taking a page directly out of the Basi and Virk trial. I wonder if the RCMP can start using this line of defence as well.?

wstander said...

Anonymous at 10:50 am- you seem to have missed the point. In the Les case, Mc Fee said you can't "blame" the Mayor, even if the Mayor is the one who benefits from your "screw up" and you got no benefit at all.

You may be right about the parallel with Basi/Virk. If so, I hope the jury is smarter than McFee.

Leah said...

"...If the political masters told staff bending the law was OK, then it's wrong to penalize staff alone, Leyne concludes."

Exactly! So they'll find Sanborn did his job as expected, therefore; he's innocent. So they both walk.


Anonymous said...

And yet Les is getting bruited around as Solicitor General again - a guy who explicitly thinks laws are guidelines!

Anonymous said...

Once again, the small fish are blamed while the big fish go free.

If the crown had any interest in seeing justice done, there would have been a deal offered to the bureaucrat in exchange for his talking about why he might have bent the rules to allow his boss to make millions in windfall profits.

DPL said...

Maybe when the guy gets sworn in he might actually tell the facts as he saw them

Anonymous said...

After the Kash crash - Campbell will let the Sanborn suit settle before reannointing Les to cabinet.