Alberta NDP says Redford must step aside to clear her name in patronage scandal

EDMONTON – Alberta’s Opposition NDP is calling for Alison Redford to step down as premier pending a thorough investigation into whether she lied to Albertans in the case of multibillion-dollar lawsuit contract given to her ex-husband’s law firm.

NDP Leader Brian Mason says he’s never seen a scandal like this in all his time in elected office and that Redford cannot operate under this cloud.

Redford continues to deny accusations she picked her ex-husband’s law firm to handle the province’s lawsuit against big tobacco while she was justice minister in 2010.

But newly released department memos and documents suggest Redford did make the decision and that the winner and losers were formally notified while she was still in the job.

The deal with International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers — which includes her ex-husband Robert Hawkes’ firm — was finalized in June 2011 by another justice minister and the government says that’s what is important.

Hawkes has remained close to Redford professionally and led the transition team when she became premier more than a year ago.

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