Police say Ontario Liberals paid $10K to wipe hard drives in premier's office

Police allege Ontario Liberals paid $10K to wipe hard drives

Allegation is contained in police documents used to obtain a search warrant executed in November

Nathan Denette/CP

Nathan Denette/CP

TORONTO — Court documents allege the Ontario Liberal party paid the spouse of a top aide to Dalton McGuinty $10,000 to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office.

The allegation is contained in police documents used to obtain a search warrant that was executed in November at an Ontario government cyber security office in downtown Toronto.

The warrant is part of an OPP investigation into deleted documents on the Liberals’ decision to cancel two gas plants prior to the 2011 election, at a cost to taxpayers of up to $1.1 billion.

Det.-Const. Andre Duval of the OPP’s anti-rackets branch alleges that computer expert Peter Faist was asked by his spouse, Laura Miller, “to wipe off personal data on approximately 20 desktop computers in the premier’s office.”

Miller was McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff under David Livingston, who is being investigated by the OPP for alleged breach of trust.

No charges have been laid, and Livingston has insisted he has done nothing wrong. Lawyers representing Miller and Faist said they too did nothing wrong.

Duval’s Information to Obtain the search warrant was released to the public after media lawyers went to court to have the documents unsealed.

The search warrants served last month sought the entire email boxes and backup tapes for Livingston and Miller from May 2012 until Feb. 11, 2013, the day Kathleen Wynne was sworn in as premier, replacing McGuinty.

Duval alleges in the court application that Livingston allowed a non-government employee, Faist, to use a special administrative password to install and use software to wipe data on 24 computer hard drives in the premier’s office.

Court documents from an earlier search warrant served at another Ontario government office in Mississauga last February alleged that Livingston brought Faist in to erase files from computers despite concerns raised by the secretary of cabinet, the province’s top civil servant.

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Police allege Ontario Liberals paid $10K to wipe hard drives

  1. That isn’t illegal…. it’s standard procedure.

    Otherwise someone will find a junked hard drive in a dump somewhere with personal or govt data on it.

    • It most certainly is not standard procedure to erase all backup copies of emails. Multiple backups are kept, and kept for years. If they managed to erase every backup of emails that were written as recently as 2011, then there is nothing standard about it. That is a deliberate destruction of evidence.

      • What evidence? Nothing illegal has occurred.

        And if you are keeping a copy of all your emails, you’re just being a pack rat.

        • It isn’t a matter of people maintaining their own emails. Of course people delete emails all the time. It isn’t their job to back up their own emails. It is the job of the IT department. Clearly you’ve never worked for government before, and are therefore unfamiliar with email retention and back up policies. Just as clearly, you are unable to discern between what is maintained on people’s Pcs and what happens on the server side. On the server side, every email a government employee or official sends is backed up remotely, and maintained for at least a decade. Ask anyone who has ever been investigated just how easy it is for IT to pull up every email theyve ever written. Every single one. Don’t confuse people pack ratting old emails in their inboxes with server side remote backups, and the intentional destruction thereof. A basic error like that exposes you as terribly misinformed.

          • LOL we have lots of govts, and lots of policies…..and the article also says ‘personal data’, not just govt stuff. And we don’t need to keep hesaid/shesaid emails in any case. Original docs only. A ton of emails even stored in the clouds………. and pretty soon you have problems…..and need electronic pepto bismol.

          • So you have no knowledge of what you’re speaking. None. Thanks for confirming.

          • Sorry Mudball…..you’re just partisan ranting.

            Lemme know when you have an actual case.

          • Atta girl. Keep flailing and keep failing. The privacy commissioner report I linked to isn’t partisan. Nor are the OPP or the RCMP. Blindly defending the indefenisble on the other hand…

          • LOL you right-wing nut jobs are all alike.

            Nothing but rants.

            The premier has a majority govt. Get over it.

          • She’s got a majority. Case closed. Heh. Surrender looks good on you. No need to admit it here, but you’ve been schooled and we both know it.

          • LOL why do you even bother Mudball?

          • A question I should have asked myself yesterday, clearly.

  2. Good grief…and people are still nattering about Duffy’s $90,000 that got paid back to the taxpayer, ignoring the $1.1 billion wasted on the cancellation of contracts in Ontario. Must be tough to be a Liberal these days.

    • Voters wanted the gas plants cancelled. So they were.

      Libs have a majority 4th term.