B.C. law society won't investigate former PMO lawyer Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin with Stephen Harper. Perrin served as a lead policy adviser on matters related to the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (Office of the Prime Minister)
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:59PM EDT
The Law Society of British Columbia says it won’t investigate a complaint against the prime minister’s former legal counsel for his alleged role in the $90,000 cheque Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff gave to now-suspended Sen. Mike Duffy.
A spokesperson for the law society said Benjamin Perrin’s file was closed on July 14. That decision was made under a rule “which allows the Law Society to close a file if we are satisfied that the complaint is not valid, or its validity cannot be proved,” the spokesperson said.
In November 2013, University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran filed a complaint against Perrin, who used to work in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Attaran claimed that Perrin and Duffy’s lawyer Janice Payne “violated the ethics of the profession” for their alleged roles in the secret deal that saw Nigel Wright, Harper’s former chief of staff, give a $90,000 cheque to Duffy to cover the senator’s ineligible expenses.
Perrin’s name was mentioned in some RCMP documents filed in court as the Mounties investigated the $90,000 payment.
In a brief statement to CTV News, Perrin said he’s “pleased” that the B.C. law society has closed the file “and did not find any concerns with my conduct as a lawyer.”
“I look forward to continuing to contribute to important public policy issues facing our country,” he said.
Perrin is currently an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law.
The RCMP recently laid 31 charges against Duffy in relation to his living and travel expense claims. Duffy, who was suspended by the Senate last November, has denied any wrongdoing and said he is looking forward to his day in court.