Former cop who blew whistle wants standing in B.C. money laundering inquiry
3 people are seeking status as participants in the inquiry
A lawyer says an inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia would not exist without the "courage" of an ex-police officer who spoke out about alleged "interference" with his mandate to investigate organized crime in casinos.
Paul Jaffe says the public will not view the inquiry as operating on a "level playing field" if the commission refuses to grant standing to Fred Pinnock, the former RCMP unit commander of the integrated illegal gaming enforcement team in B.C.
He made the comments to commissioner Austin Cullen at a public hearing Friday to consider the applications for standing from Pinnock as well as B.C. Lottery Corp. executives James Lightbody and Brad Desmarais.
Jaffe described Pinnock as a "whistleblower" who was so concerned about what he observed in his role at the RCMP that he took early retirement in 2008 after 29 years with the force and began speaking out publicly about money laundering.
Lightbody is the president and CEO of the lottery corporation and his lawyer, Robin McFee, told Cullen that he has significant privacy, reputational and professional interests that could be affected by the commission's proceedings.
Cullen reserved his decision on the applications from Pinnock and Lightbody while granting a one-month adjournment to Desmarais to allow his lawyer to obtain and review additional documents.
Ross Alderson, a former investigator in monitoring and policing B.C.'s gaming industry, withdrew his application for standing.
Update, Jan 6, 2020: The commissioner of the money laundering inquiry ruled Brad Desmarais will not be granted standing at the upcoming public hearings.
Commissioner Austin Cullen found the interests of Desmarais — who is vice president of both casino gaming and security at the BC Lottery Corporation — are not sufficiently different from those of BCLC itself.
If Desmarias had been granted participant status, he would have been allowed to call his own witnesses and cross-examine others.