David Brazil found not to be in contempt of the House
Speaker Ross Wiseman rapped Tory MHA David Brazil on the knuckles, but didn’t hold him in contempt of the House.
David Brazil. — Telegram file photo
Brazil was in hot water this week after he was forced to apologize in the House of Assembly, but then seemingly took it back an hour later when he went outside to talk to reporters.
Last fall, The Telegram first reported on questionable spending of government funds for an adult basic education program on Bell Island.
Money from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills was going to the Bell Island hockey team — which Brazil was involved in running — and from there was being used for the education program.
Emails provided to The Telegram showed Brazil agreeing to pay a person with a dozen beer to install basic software on school computers.
Then education minister Joan Shea investigated the situation and referred the matter to the police, but after several months of looking at it, the RNC determined nothing criminal went on.
The commissioner for legislative standards investigated and found that Brazil broke the MHAs’ code of conduct by failing to disclose his involvement with the Bell Island hockey team in his conflict of interest public disclosure form.
Last week, Brazil apologized for his oversight, but afterwards, he told reporters the apology was only to the legislature — not to the people of the province.
“I find it hard to apologize for being active, doing nothing wrong,” he said.
Wiseman considered the issue, after Liberal House Leader Andrew Parsons argued that it was a possible contempt of the House.
“I have reviewed the video clip of the media interview with the Member for Conception Bay East-Bell Island and find that his words were intemperate, maybe even irresponsible,” Wiseman said.
However, in the end, he said there was no grounds to hold Brazil in contempt.