Yesterday the NDP allowed their caucus Chief of Staff to fall on his sword for the team. In fact, Minister Hagel laid 100 per cent of the blame on Jim Fodey for not notifying the police that a fraud artist had stolen taxpayer money from the NDP.
Fodey holed up and didn' t return phone calls or answer door bells when media came ringing.
Hagel's latest version of events has him ordering Fodey to take the confession letter to the police. The NDP would have us believe Fodey alone is responsible for NOT contacting the authorities -- like it just got lost in the mail or something. Of course, there was no followup from Hagel on whether Fodey did what he said he would do. The fact there weren't police officers in the office combing through files in the NDP caucus office didn't set off any alarm bells for Hagel?
The story in today's Leader Post casts more doubt on Hagel's story.
But police Chief Cal Johnston said police became aware of Lord in early September 1992 due to a car fire outside the Legislative Building. It was discovered that the vehicle belonged to Lord's husband, and that she was wanted on fraud charges in the U.S.
Johnston said records show police had a discussion with Fodey about Lord's work at the caucus office, and were told an audit was being done. On Sept. 22, 1992, police were told the auditor wasn't concerned, Johnston said.
There is a big difference between somehow forgetting to mention a fraud case at the legislature and actually telling the police everything is just fine.
Hagel needs to be fired. Letting his Chief of Staff take the entire hit to his reputation and livelihood for this mess is unconscionable.
Obviously, with this minister, the buck stops not with him -- but his staff.
UPDATE: This is what you will be reading about in tommorrow's paper. The following is an excerpt from the 1994 police report prepared by the Regina City Police. Turns out Minister Hagel must have known since at least 1994 that documents were not turned over to police. NDP MLA Pat Lorje indicates the NDP caucus was trying to conceal the fraud from coming to light. You can read the whol thing (especially if you can't make it out) here.
UPDATE 2: Star Phoenix is running a web poll -- should Hagel be fired? (lower right, scroll down)