Thursday, August 9, 2007

Larry O'Brien eaten by history

Oh Larry, how could it have gone so wrong? You who rode the landslide wave to the big chair with the fancy necklace, the naked-headed sorcerer who conjured Calian from thin air.

And now you are under police investigation.

I met Larry a couple of times while working for the Ottawa Sun covering the mayoral race. Larry once faked he head butted me, ala Zidane. I was asking him to clarify a statement he made during the first candidate's debate.

We don't give them a hand (out), we give them something else, he had said referring to the beggars who crawl out of the gutters and scurry about city sidewalks hand cupped for rain.

"What's that something else?" I asked and asked again, before the municipal debate on homelessness.

And then he fake head butted me.

But now there are emails, courtesy of the Ottawa Citizen’s Gary Dimmock.

“After a face-to-face meeting with Larry O'Brien in July, Terry Kilrea, a mayoral candidate at the time, clearly thought he had been offered help in getting a federal position that could lead to him quitting the race.
Days after that meeting with Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Kilrea e-mailed his one-time rival, asking, "Anything new?"
Mr. O'Brien replied: "No. I like the fuss about light rail though. How did it go with John last night?"
Mr. Kilrea replied, saying he never got a call, referring to one he expected from John Baird, then the federal Treasury Board president.
The next e-mail, sent from Mr. O'Brien's BlackBerry account, said: "i will get a hold of him next week."
A few hours later, Mr. Kilrea advised: "John and I are meeting tomorrow afternoon."
The mayor responded: "Great!!!!!!! Good luck."
This exchange happened days after a July meeting at an outdoor cafe at 700 Sussex Dr. Mr. Kilrea has insisted in a sworn affidavit that at that meeting, Mr. O'Brien offered to cover his campaign expenses if he dropped out of the race.”



And then there is this from Dimmock again.

“Ontario Provincial Police detectives investigating Mayor Larry O'Brien have been told that Heather Tessier, his executive assistant and niece, telephoned a key witness and suggested that he should forget certain conversations when talking to police.
The alleged call from the mayor's assistant came a few days before the witness was to be interviewed by Det. Sgt.
Brian Mason of the OPP anti-rackets squad. The witness later agreed to a taped police interview, in which he described the alleged telephone call.
Ms. Tessier has told the Citizen that she has been advised not to comment on the story. Det. Sgt. Mason also declined to comment.
Ms. Tessier, like many others, has been interviewed by police investigating allegations by Terry Kilrea that Mr. O'Brien offered to cover his campaign expenses and help him seek an appointment to the National Parole Board if Mr. Kilrea dropped out of last fall's mayoral race.
In a search warrant dated May 29, which authorized police to seize e-mails from a private residence, Det. Sgt. Mason noted that he was looking for the messages as potential evidence in a criminal case.
The detective cited two suspected offences under Section 125 of the Criminal Code: Influencing or negotiating appointments or dealing in offices. The search warrant specifies that police are investigating whether: "... Larry O'Brien, between the 01st of July 2006 and the 31st of August 2006 did in the expectation of a benefit of $30,000 solicit the resignation of Terry Kilrea from the City of Ottawa Mayoral race of 2006 contrary to section 125 (b) of the Criminal Code." The warrant also outlines the police theory for another suspected offence under investigation: "That Larry O'Brien, between the 01st of July 2006 and the 31st of August 2006 did procure to be given to Terry Kilrea a reward of an appointment to the National Parole Board as consideration for the cooperation by Terry Kilrea to withdraw from the 2006 City of Ottawa Mayoral race which would improve Larry O'Brien's chances of winning the election contrary to section 125 (a) of the Criminal Code." A copy of the search warrant shows that police were searching for a record of electronic correspondence from Ms. Tessier, among others. ?
OTTAWA CITIZEN, June 21, 2007

O'Brien, Kilrea, Baird, who else will this tale give us?

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