Premier Andrew Furey calls an RCMP investigation into a cabinet leak “troubling and disheartening.”
The RCMP announced Wednesday that Sherry Gambin-Walsh had disclosed confidential cabinet information on RNC promotions to Acting Insp. Paul Didham. But they would not lay charges because there was little chance of getting a conviction.
“The contents of the RCMP release yesterday are troubling and disheartening, and after being briefed yesterday evening I am seeking advice and reflecting ahead of any next steps,” Furey said in a statement.
Gambin-Walsh released a statement saying she did not do anything to interfere in the RNC’s promotion process.
“On April 3rd the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) served me with a search warrant for my cell phones,” she said. “An investigation was initiated after the RCMP received a complaint related to a Commissioned Officer Appointments document within the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC). I do not know the contents of the information to obtain the warrant that justified the search of my cell phones.
“It is important for my constituents to know that at no time did I try to influence the RNC promotional process, nor allow my friendship with the Officer to influence my actions.
“On September 9 the RCMP criminal investigation was concluded and it was determined that no charges will be laid against me. I want to thank those who stood by me through this investigation. Those who know me understand that I strongly believe in transparency and fairness. I will continue to represent and advocate for the people of the district of Placentia St. Mary’s and the Trinity South area to the best of my ability.”
RNC Chief Joe Boland filed the complaint that led to the investigation. He released a statement saying an internal RNC investigation is still ongoing.
“On March 4, 2020, I became aware of an apparent leak to an RNC officer of a confidential cabinet document regarding ongoing cabinet deliberations on the topic of promotions within the RNC commissioned officer ranks,” Boland said. “It appeared at that time that information contained in the confidential document was made known to an RNC officer before the cabinet deliberations on the matter were concluded.
“In the interests of ensuring independence, fairness, transparency and appropriate accountability, and in order to maintain public confidence in both the RNC and publically elected officials, I requested an independent investigation into the incident with oversight by SIRT-NL.
“On September 9, 2020, I was advised by the RCMP of the conclusion of their investigation into this matter, including the fact that investigators formulated reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a Minister deliberately and without proper authority transmitted information, which was protected by cabinet confidence, to an RNC officer. Lawyers with the Crown’s Office in Nova Scotia reviewed the investigation and concluded there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction and that no criminal charges would be laid as a result.
“At this time, in the interest of protecting the integrity of an ongoing RNC internal investigation and the privacy of those involved, the RNC will refrain from further comments until this process has reached a conclusion.
“The RNC Core Values, which include Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Pride and Professionalism define the RNC as a police service. The RNC is committed to ensuring, through due process, that our members meet the high standards set out in the RNC Core Values.”