Alberta’s lobbyist registrar has found that lawyer Joe Lougheed did not breach the Lobbyists Act when he performed government relations for the Alberta College of Art and Design between 2009 and 2011.
Lougheed, a prominent Calgary lawyer, was not registered as a lobbyist at the time.
In a report released Monday, Bradley Odsen says that the main element of lobbying is "communication with an attempt to influence" the government. He found that Lougheed did not engage in such activity.
"There is no evidence that Mr. Lougheed ever communicated with anyone in the Alberta government about the ACAD, let alone communicating ‘in an attempt to influence’ the government in any way with respect to the ACAD," he writes.
"Indeed, the evidence is quite clear that he did not do that, and that any such communications that would or did occur, were made by the senior officials of the ACAD."
Odsen launched his investigation following a CBC report in November which found that Lougheed billed the college for meetings with provincial Progressive Conservative officials and a cabinet minister.
Documents obtained through a freedom of information request showed that Lougheed’s law firm, Fraser Milner Casgrain, gave ACAD tickets to Tory fundraisers.
The documents also showed that ACAD paid Lougheed more than $5,000 a month for government relations over a two-year period.
During his investigation, Odsen interviewed Lougheed, a number of ACAD officials and the Progressive Conservatives named in the documents.