Friday, October 26, 2007

Tonight On The Dobranos.....

.....Circling The Lawyer Wagons

Yesterday, a special prosecutor was named in the case of Mr. Ken Dobell, content consultant extraordinare.

The job of the special prosecutor, Vancouver litigation lawyer Terrence Robertson, is to determine if charges should be laid against Mr. Dobell.

For the record, which will become germane to the discussion below, special prosecutors in British Columbia are appointed from a list administered through the Ministry of the Attorney General. The current Attorney General of British Columbia is Mr. Wally Oppal.

Of course, Mr. Dobell, the former Deputy Minister and close advisor to B.C. Premier Mr. Gordon Campbell*, will temporarily step away from some of current content consultations and cooperate fully with the special prosecutor.

How do we know this?

Because Mr. Dobell's lawyer, Mr. George Macintosh, says it will be thus:

Last night, Mr. Dobell's lawyer released a written statement that said Mr. Dobell "was stepping down from his work for the province with respect to softwood lumber" during the investigation.

"That is the right thing to do," said the statement by George Macintosh.

Mr. Dobell plans to co-operate fully with the special prosecutor, the lawyer's statement said.

Now some of our more poltically attuned readers on things all things provincial, folks like G. West, Mary and Meaghan, have likely already raised an eyebrow or two at the name of Mr. Dobell's lawyer, Mr. Macintosh.


Because it turns out that Mr. Macintosh is also currently acting as a special prosecutor for Mr. Wally Oppal's Attorney General Ministry in a very different case.

A case which involves the Mr. Oppal's brother:

A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into a land deal in Abbotsford, B.C., involving Harry Oppal, the brother of British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal.

Vancouver lawyer George Macintosh is actually the second special prosecutor to take on the file after the first, appointed in February, had to bow out because of personal issues unrelated to the case.

Macintosh will review an investigation conducted by the Financial Institutions Commission of B.C. into allegations that several people were involved in a possibly illegal land deal in Abbotsford.

So, just to bring things full circle, it is important to remember that it was Mr. Oppal, the A.G version, who originally attempted to stonewall any suggestion by the opposition NDP that perhaps someone should have a look into Mr. Dobell's activities, as Vancouver Sun columnist Mr. Vaughn Palmer noted last spring:

(Oppal said Dobell's ).....lobbying was already being reviewed by the privacy commissioner. "Why don't we wait for the results of that investigation?" Oppal suggested.

"One day it is the court case, and the next it is the privacy commissioner," (Opposition leader Carole) James returned. "Soon they'll run out of excuses to hide behind."

Oppal tried again to deflect the shot. If the facts were as "damning and inculpatory" as the New Democrats alleged, why didn't they "go before the privacy commissioner and tell him that?"

The suggestion was so far off the mark as to be grossly misleading.

The commissioner, David Loukidelis, doing double duty as the registrar for lobbyists, is looking at only one aspect of Dobell's activities: Had he followed the law in registering within 10 days of commencing his lobbying activities? Nothing to do with the "apparent conflict of interest," alleged by the NDP.

(Stuff in brackets is my paraphrasing - Mr. Palmer's entire piece is worth the re-read)

And the seasons, they go round and round......

Now, if we could just find all those darned painted ponies who could point us towards the real story on this and so may many other sub-plots that are swirling around Mr. Campbell's government and the people who run and/or ran (from?) it.

*ie. during the time before
Mr. Dobell became a consultant who discussed content with Mr. Campbell's government at the behest of the City of Vancouver who had hired Mr. Dobell to content consult using monies that were made available to the City by the government of Mr. Campbell - monies that Mr. Dobell apparently suggested might coming the City's way back when he was still 'officially' working for Mr. Campbell's government which, we suspect, may be the crux of the matter. The City of Vancouver document in question which states what Mr. Dobell apparently suggested here (pdf - see the last sentence at the end of Point #1).
I know it doesn't fit here, but it's just too good not to pass along, Joni's 'Circle Game', circa 1966.....


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