Police allege Ontario Liberals paid $10K to wipe hard drives

Allegation is contained in police documents used to obtain a search warrant executed in November

Nathan Denette/CP

Nathan Denette/CP

TORONTO — Court documents allege the Ontario Liberal party paid the spouse of a top aide to Dalton McGuinty $10,000 to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office.

The allegation is contained in police documents used to obtain a search warrant that was executed in November at an Ontario government cyber security office in downtown Toronto.

The warrant is part of an OPP investigation into deleted documents on the Liberals’ decision to cancel two gas plants prior to the 2011 election, at a cost to taxpayers of up to $1.1 billion.

Det.-Const. Andre Duval of the OPP’s anti-rackets branch alleges that computer expert Peter Faist was asked by his spouse, Laura Miller, “to wipe off personal data on approximately 20 desktop computers in the premier’s office.”

Miller was McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff under David Livingston, who is being investigated by the OPP for alleged breach of trust.

No charges have been laid, and Livingston has insisted he has done nothing wrong. Lawyers representing Miller and Faist said they too did nothing wrong.

Duval’s Information to Obtain the search warrant was released to the public after media lawyers went to court to have the documents unsealed.

The search warrants served last month sought the entire email boxes and backup tapes for Livingston and Miller from May 2012 until Feb. 11, 2013, the day Kathleen Wynne was sworn in as premier, replacing McGuinty.

Duval alleges in the court application that Livingston allowed a non-government employee, Faist, to use a special administrative password to install and use software to wipe data on 24 computer hard drives in the premier’s office.

Court documents from an earlier search warrant served at another Ontario government office in Mississauga last February alleged that Livingston brought Faist in to erase files from computers despite concerns raised by the secretary of cabinet, the province’s top civil servant.

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