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Who could the leakers be?

November 14th, 2008 · 14 Comments

Someone took offence at my suggestion that whoever is leaking information about the Olympic loan and/or current city investigations into same is “someone with nothing left to lose.”

Rod wrote: If you are implying Sullivan is involved, may I ask how exactly? He can hardly hold papers as is. I don’t imagine he has the dexterity to steal documents or the stealth to plant them in someone’s office. He is in a wheelchair remember? Plus, why would he plant them in Lee’s office, one of his most loyal supporters, and not in one of opposition councilor’s offices.

The idea that some Joker-like character is behind this, whose only motivation is to cause chaos, is pretty bizarre.

Haven’t you noticed there is an election going on? It would seem like the simpler explanation is that the leak was politically motivated. So the question is… who benefited?

But there are several people at city hall with nothing left to lose.

Obviously, speculation is rampant at city hall, in the media, among the public, about who would leak this information in the first place. Now there’s also speculation about who leaked the alleged incriminating information about card swipes to Global TV. Charlie Smith at the Georgia Straight wrote the first round of speculation. Don Cayo at the Vancouver Sun asked Mayor Sam Sullivan point blank if he was the leaker and got one of the mayor’s typical intriguing answers.

But in the category of people with nothing to lose (and these names have been circulating widely since day one):

1. Mayor Sam Sullivan

2. His assistant David Hurford, who loves leaking things to the media. He did it extensively in Ottawa when he worked for the feds and he’s done it a fair bit here. He’s particularly fond of leaking to media who aren’t normally at city hall much. (I understand this is an especially popular theory in some circles.)

3. Estelle Lo

I don’t know a thing, like all of you. And sometimes it’s not the direct person with nothing to lose, but someone who’s a supporter or associate, the one most likely to listen to the line “Will no one rid me of this troublesome bishop?” or to feel that their ally has been badly treated and deserves to be revenged.

But it is entirely possible that it’s not political.

Later note:

After I posted this blog about the current speculation, I got this response from David in the comments section, but I’m putting it here to give him a prominent place to refute this:

Hi Frances,

I just read your post about someone impuning my reputation as being a possible source of the leak of in-camera documents. This is troubling and I am not sure why you chose to publish it – particularly in light of the fact there is now a police investigation going on.

This suggestion is untrue. I still have never seen the document in question, I did not attend the six plus hour in-camera session on October 14 and still am not entirely aware of its content. In fact, it is my practice not to attend in-camera meetings.  As Chief of Staff I am able to attend but because I am also Director of Communications and dealing regularly with reporters, there are many confidential things that frankly -I do not want to know. I prefer not to know frankly as I trust elected officials to make these decisions and I trust senior city staff to give their best advice.

I fully support the Mayor’s decision to call the police and we have pledged our cooperation 100%. I hope that helps. You can cross me off the suspect list.


David Hurford,
Office of the Mayor

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