PEI

Shawn Driscoll 'vindicated,' plans return to politics

Former P.E.I. PC Party candidate Shawn Driscoll said he feels vindicated, as impaired driving charges against him in Alberta were dismissed last week.

'Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we'll be able to see if I can win that district'

'I'm happy, but it came at a personal price to my family,' says former PC candidate Shawn Driscoll of his legal battle. (CBC)

Former P.E.I. PC Party candidate Shawn Driscoll said he feels vindicated, as impaired driving charges against him in Alberta were withdrawn last week.

Driscoll was forced to resign from the race as PC candidate for district 15, West Royalty-Springvale, after an anonymous letter revealed he'd been charged with impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample in Fort McMurray in July, 2008. There were two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Now, the Crown has withdrawn those charges.

"It feels wonderful," Driscoll said Thursday. "You feel vindicated. I didn't run from any charges. I took reasonable steps, and the verdict out there underscores that." 

'Hard battle'

Driscoll said he thought the legal situation had been resolved long ago. He had since undergone several security checks, including a vetting before being hired to work in then-MP for Egmont Gail Shea's office.

"I thought that the Crown dropped the case," he said. "So it came as quite a surprise, two days before cut-off for nominations, this letter came to the office asking me to resign."

The PC's believed Driscoll was on track to win District 15. They had just a day to nominate a new candidate. Driscoll's replacement, Linda Clements had only 18 days to campaign, and lost in the May 4 election. 

After stepping away from the race, Driscoll dedicated time to clearing his name. 

"It was a hard battle," he said. It took seven months to get a trial date, Driscoll said, and the matter was only resolved in court in Fort McMurray last week, when the charges were withdrawn.

Another kick at the can

Now that Driscoll's future is looking brighter, he said he hopes to return to politics.

"Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, we'll be able to see if I can win that district," he said with a big smile. 

Driscoll has written a letter to the ombudsman, asking if they can see who searched old records last spring, in hopes of pinpointing who accessed the information and wrote the anonymous letter that forced his resignation. 

"It's rather unfortunate because it was put for political gain," said Driscoll of whomever dug up the old charges. 

The party and the people of the district have been kind and supportive, he said, which he appreciates. 

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