The trial must go on

June 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm (News, Politics) ()

Today Judge Douglas Cunningham ruled that the trial of Mayor Larry O’Brien will go on. Read my story about what went down in Courtroom 36 here.

If I wasn’t already a huge fan of Cunningham, I am now.

His decision – a 24-page document – placed a great deal of emphasis on the integrity of government. He basically said that even if O’Brien’s actions weren’t illegal, the appearance of anything less than ethical should still be investigated and tried. You don’t hear that every day. Most people dismiss political appointments as tradition (the defence attorney tried to use that argument) and just part of government culture. Though Cunningham can’t take on Parliament Hill with this decision, he made it very clear that he is not going to let O’Brien get off easy.

“Because the public will not necessarily be able to determine for themselves whether or not a particular advantage or benefit is legitimate, the very appearance of dishonesty must be preserved in order for the integrity of government to be maintained,” Cunningham said in his decision, referring to another’s judge’s interpretation of the Criminal Code sections that apply to O’Brien.

I’m glad about the verdict, and it’s not because I’m an O’Brien-hater or anything. I’m just impressed to see someone standing up for integrity – especially in government – something I thought was nearly a lost virtue in our society.

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2 Comments

  1. C.H. said,

    Nice blog Cheryl. What do you mean, you’re leaving the Kourier-Standard? Didn’t know that, so all the best. We’ll miss you.

    Glad you had a chance to read City Holler – it’s fairly one-sided, but necessary … and factual.

    Best regards.

  2. Cheryl said,

    Thanks for the comment, City Holler. I’m leaving the paper for a year in Colombia, but I’ll continue to follow Ottawa politics from South America.

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