Privacy Czar Says Stone Staffer Deleted Emails, Lied

By James Peters
October 23, 2015 - 12:39pm

A staffer in BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone's office has resigned after the Information and Privacy Commissioner revealed that he deliberately deleted emails to keep them from being included in a freedom of information request.

Elizabeth Denham says the staffer then lied about it to her office before owning up after he was confronted with evidence.

Stone says he is disappointed with the conduct of his staffer.

But Stone says he - Stone - is responsible with his email.

A moment later, Stone admitted that he has also triple-deleted his own emails in the past.

In her report today, Denham says that practice is contrary to the law.

Later, a ministry staffer clarified Stone only triple-deletes 'transitory' emails, which is allowed.

Vancouver Sun Legislative Reporter Rob Shaw says this isn't the first time Denham's office has pointed out problems with how the government deals with information.

"The privacy commissioner has pointed out repeatedly that the government does not have a good handle on FOI," said Shaw.

Denham says the issue has been forwarded to the RCMP.

Because the staffer lied to investigators, he could be charged with perjury.

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