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Wynne's hand-picked candidate wins Sudbury byelection

QMI Agency

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looks on as Sudbury Liberal candidate Glenn Thibeault addresses the crowd Wednesday January 7/2015 in Sudbury, Ontario.. Thibeault was appointed Liberal candidate for Sudbury in the upcoming byelection for Sudbury, Ontario. Wynne announced a byelection for the Sudbury riding on Wednesday morning to fill a spot after NDP Joe Cimino resigned in October for personal reason.
Gino Donato/The Sudbury Star/QMI Agency

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne looks on as Sudbury Liberal candidate Glenn Thibeault addresses the crowd Wednesday January 7/2015 in Sudbury, Ontario.. Thibeault was appointed Liberal candidate for Sudbury in the upcoming byelection for Sudbury, Ontario. Wynne announced a byelection for the Sudbury riding on Wednesday morning to fill a spot after NDP Joe Cimino resigned in October for personal reason. Gino Donato/The Sudbury Star/QMI Agency

Premier Kathleen Wynne's hand-picked candidate -- a former NDP MP - won the Sudbury riding Thursday night in a byelection marred by accusations of a "turncoat" candidate and the cops being called over allegations of bribery attempts by senior Liberals.

Liberal Glenn Thibeault edged out the NDP's Suzanne Shawbonquit in what was a see-saw battle in the early going in a riding where Andrea Horwath's New Democrats claimed victory in the June provincial election.

The campaign got off to a murky start with Independent candidate Andrew Olivier, who ran for the Liberals in the spring election but was snubbed by the party this time around, alleging he was offered a job or an appointment by the Liberals to step aside to make way for Glenn Thibeault.

That controversy gained momentum Thursday with information in court documents filed by the OPP that concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe a Criminal Code offence was committed.

That has not been proven in court and no charges have been laid.

Horwath called Thibeault a "turncoat and a traitor" for turning his back on the party.

With a Liberal nomination meeting being spiked, Olivier decided to run as an Independent.

He came third in Thursday's byelection, ahead of the PC's Paula Peroni.

Olivier has alleged that Liberal officials offered him a job or an appointment to step aside this byelection in favour of Thibeault.

Olivier, a paraplegic, records his conversations and the tape was running when the alleged offer was made.

He handed over the recordings of a conversation with Liberal operative Gerry Lougheed and a later phone call with Pat Sorbara, a senior staff member in Wynne's office, over to the OPP anti-rackets squad.

An OPP document obtained by QMI Agency on Thursday states that the Ontario Liberals illegally tried to lure Olivier into dropping out of the nomination race with an offer of a job or appointment.

An allegation of criminal wrongdoing is contained in court documents filed by Det.-Const. Erin Thomas, of the OPP anti-rackets squad.

In the information to obtain a production order, Thomas said there are reasonable grounds to believe a Criminal Code offence was committed -- "the solicitation, negotiation in any manner or recommendation with respect to an appointment to an office in expectation of a direct or indirect reward, advantage or benefit."

 


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