Nunavut MLA found guilty of influence peddling
Integrity commissioner reccommends Fred Schell apologize, pay $500 fine
South Baffin MLA Fred Schell has been found guilty of using his influence as a member of the legislative assembly for personal gain.
Schell has been found guilty of violating Nunavut's Integrity Act, according to a report from the territory's integrity commissioner.
A total of four allegations were leveled against Schell and all of them were related to his contracting business, Polar Supplies, in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.
Deputy justice minister Janet Slaughter alleged Schell violated the act four times between June 2009 and October 2010.
Slaughter alleged that Schell used his influence as an MLA for personal gain, he was in conflict of interest, and he violated his blind trust agreement.
Schell was cleared of wrongdoing in three of the four accusations, but he was found guilty of using his power as an MLA to influence territorial bureaucrats.
The integrity commissioner's report found that Schell sent an email in June 2009 to an official in the Department of Community and Government Services.
The email concerned an unpaid invoice — money that was supposedly owed to Schell's company from the Hamlet of Cape Dorset.
The report says Schell used demands and threats to seek to influence an official for personal gain.
The other incidents include when Schell attended a business meeting as an MLA and asked a question related to his business in the legislature. The commissioner found no violations occurred.
Schell had also not yet entered into a blind trust agreement when the email was sent, so he was cleared on that charge.
The integrity commissioner recommends that Schell, who is now the minister of human resources, apologize and pay a $500 fine.
- An earlier version of this story reported Fred Schell had been ordered to pay a fine. In fact, it was recommended he pay the fine. Also, the fine's amount was incorrect. It has been recommended he pay a $500 fine.Oct 20, 2011 4:54 AM CT