Redford did not mislead house by saying had no role in tobacco lawsuit: Speaker

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford has been cleared by the legislature Speaker on allegations she deliberately misled the house about her role in awarding a government contract to her ex-husband’s law firm.

Speaker Gene Zwozdesky says he believes Redford’s version of events — that she did not pick the firm to be part of a $10-billion suit against Big Tobacco.

While documents show Robert Hawkes’s firm was Redford’s preference during her term as justice minister in 2010, Zwozdesky noted the deal wasn’t finalized until after she left the post in June 2011.

The Wildrose party brought the motion forward last Thursday that Redford be found in contempt of the legislature.

The Liberals and the NDP have already said the evidence against her is so overwhelming she needs to step down as premier until an independent body can review the case.

Redford has refused to do that, saying instead the allegations amount to a witch hunt aimed at smearing her and those close to her.

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