to-sarah-kramer-052809

Former eHealth CEO Sarah Kramer. ((CNW Group/eHealth Ontario))

Premier Dalton McGuinty is denying he intervened in the appointment of Sarah Kramer as the CEO of eHealth Ontario over the objections of some civil servants.

McGuinty says he did have a meeting with Kramer but only after the decision had already been made to hire her.

He says the meeting was held so that he could tell Kramer how important it was to move quickly on electronic health records and that he never heard about any objections to her hiring.

McGuinty also admits Kramer was appointed through an order-in-council but says he relied heavily on the recommendations of the board involved — especially then-chair Alan Hudson, who requested Kramer be hired.

Hiring Kramer, McGuinty now says, was obviously a mistake.

Kramer and Hudson abruptly resigned in June amid allegations that during their tenure eHealth awarded lucrative contracts without competitive tenders and overspent on outside consultants.

McGuinty's comments come after a Globe and Mail report that the premier had a hands-on role in appointing eHealth's leaders and appointed Kramer through an order-in-council despite objections from Ministry of Health officials.

New Democrat Peter Kormos says McGuinty has no credibility when it comes to eHealth, and that it's clear the premier's office was consulted before Kramer was hired and should be accepting responsibility.