Attorney General Andrew Parsons is staying in cabinet even though a complaint by RNC member Joe Smyth has been handed over to the RCMP in Nova Scotia for investigation.
Smyth filed a complaint with RCMP N.L. on Dec. 11. He accused Parsons of political interference in an obstruction of justice case against Smyth for his handling of a 2017 traffic stop. Smyth was initially convicted, but that was later overturned on appeal.
RCMP N.L. has asked RCMP Nova Scotia to lead the investigation in the interest of an independence and transparency. RCMP N.S. is is currently reviewing the complaint to determine investigative steps. The leadership of the investigation and all investigative decisions rest with RCMP Nova Scotia. Police officers from RCMP N.L. may be tasked to support the investigation, as needed.
Opposition leader Ches Crosbie called on Parsons to step aside in December when the complaint became public. Back in April, former premier Dwight Ball removed Sherry Gambin-Walsh from cabinet after she was served with a search warrant in a separate case. But Premier Andrew Furey is not removing Parsons in this case.
“Nova Scotia RCMP is reviewing the complaint as is standard procedure to ensure an independent and transparent process,” the premier’s office said in a statement. “The Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Director of Public Prosecutions have both already publicly confirmed there was no interference. Accordingly, this does not impede the Minister’s ability to serve and there will be no changes to cabinet.”