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Clark silent on reason for chief of staff’s exit

Sep 26 2012
Ken Boessenkool was Christy Clark’s chief of staff for eight months. 

Ken Boessenkool was Christy Clark’s chief of staff for eight months.

Photograph by: . , .

Premier Christy Clark declined to explain Tuesday why she did not suspend her chief of staff earlier this month after allegations first surfaced of inappropriate conduct with a female staff member in a Victoria bar.
Ken Boessenkool remained in his post for about two weeks after the incident. He resigned Sunday.
Clark said privacy laws prevented her from answering questions about the government’s handling of the case, which would mean releasing details of the incident.
“We followed all the procedures that were set out, and I think to tell you anything more than that might give you more details about what happened than I am legally allowed to share,” she said.
Clark said she wants to protect innocent people who might be harmed by the release of more information.
 “That has been a really central part of my mission in trying to bring this to a conclusion,” she said. “People who have done nothing wrong, people who are innocent, shouldn’t be hurt.”
Boessenkool, a father of four daughters, said in his letter of resignation that he acted inappropriately, regretted his behaviour and apologized immediately.
“This will give me a chance to return to Calgary to be with my family — who I have also let down — and from whom I have been separated on a weekly basis for most of the last eight months,” he said.
His resignation came after a Global TV reporter began asking questions about the incident last week.
But Clark insisted that the media interest had no effect on the government’s handling of the situation.
She said her office launched an investigation after learning of the incident about two weeks ago, and that the inquiry followed Public Service Agency guidelines. The result would have been the same whether the media caught wind of the incident or not, she said.
Boessenkool, a former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was named Clark’s chief of staff in January.
The premier appointed former B.C. Hydro chairman Dan Doyle, a career civil servant, as her new chief of staff on Monday. 
lkines@timescolonist.com 

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