Ex-provincial staffer charged in email affair

Two charges of making false statements to information and privacy commissioner laid against George Gretes by special prosecutor

Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham

A former ministerial assistant to Transportation Minister Todd Stone has been charged with two offences under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for his role in a complaint about deleted government emails.

A special prosecutor approved two charges against George Gretes for “willfully making false statements to mislead, or attempt to mislead” the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham referred the case to police after Gretes testified in her investigation that he didn’t delete a series of emails from a subordinate’s computer during a search in response to a freedom of information request.

Gretes resigned in October 2015 when Denham released her report on the 2014 incident, which found that Gretes had used another employee’s computer to “triple delete” a series of emails.

Stone has maintained that the deleted emails were not the official records dealing with community meetings about improving travel options along Highway 16 in northern B.C., which was the subject of the request. The ministry has since released hundreds of pages of records about the project.

The incident prompted Premier Christy Clark to order all political staff in the government to keep all emails as the procedure for handling electronic communications is updated.

Former privacy commissioner David Loukidelis reviewed the case and recommended that non-partisan public servants should decide what records should be kept and what can be destroyed as duplicate or transitory messages.

Loukidelis warned that with hundreds of millions of emails sent and received each year, trying to evaluate every message would cause the B.C. government to “grind to a halt.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read