Criminality in political or public office - say it ain't so!
Carson's recruiters knew of PMO aide's criminal past
Energy school's board defends decision to hire well-connected former Harper advisor
By Brooks DeCillia CBC News Posted: Mar 18, 2011 8:45 AM MT
Opposition jumps on Carson allegations
Officials with the Canada School of Energy and Environment in Calgary are defending their decision to hire Bruce Carson, a former adviser to Stephen Harper who is seen here in a November interview with CBC News, as executive director. CBCThe people who hired Bruce Carson knew he had a criminal record before tapping him to serve as the executive director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment.
In the early 1980s, Carson pleaded guilty to defrauding law clients and spent 18 months in jail. He was also disbarred.
This week, the Prime Minister's Office asked the RCMP to investigate the former top political aide to Stephen Harper over allegations he may have breached the Conflict of Interest Act.
The chair of the Canada School of Energy and Environment's board of directors defends the organization's decision to hire the former senior prime ministerial aide despite his brush with the law in 1982.
"Absolutely, we've reviewed that," Brian Heidecker told CBC News.
"That's a very serious situation, but 25 years of unblemished service after that, we seem to have the opinion he had learned his lesson."
Heidecker stressed Carson pleaded guilty, served his jail time and was granted a pardon.
"We decided the past was the past and that we would recruit him and retain him," he said in a phone interview from Edmonton.
Carson stepped aside late Wednesday from his leadership role until any potential RCMP review is concluded.