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Former chief of staff gets four months in jail for wiping hard drives

by Availability of information, Lack of transparency, Records management non-compliance

David Livingston was convicted of unauthorised use of a computer system for arranging a password that enabled a private contractor to clear hard drives in the Premier’s office before Kathleen Wynne took power.

In his ruling, Lipson said Livingston “deceived” the province’s top civil servant into providing a special computer password that enabled deputy chief of staff Laura Miller’s common-law spouse, Peter Faist, to delete hard drives in the Premier’s office before Wynne took power in February 2013.

This was in the face of warnings to preserve government records of important political decisions, freedom-of-information requests on the gas plants and “foreseeable” legal orders for relevant documents on rationale on the cancellations from a legislative committee of MPPs, the judge said.

“Mr. Livingston, however, developed his own ideas early on. He called the legal obligation to disclose ‘political bullshit.’ He thought the power of the committee to compel production was ‘ridiculous.”

Read more: The Star, April 11, 2018

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