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Premier Campbell reappoints Heed as solicitor general

Kash Heed will return to his position as solicitor general and the minister responsible for public safety, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

"His commitment to the duties and responsibilities of Solicitor General were paramount last month when he stepped aside,” Campbell said in a news release. “I am sure this has been difficult both for Kash Heed and his family.”

Special prosecutor Terrence Robertson's statement yesterday completely exonerated Heed, the release said.

Criminal and Election Act charges were laid yesterday against Heed's campaign manager Barinder Sall. Also charged were the Heed campaign financial agent Satpal Johl and the owner of the North American Mailing company, Dinesh Khanna. The charges relate to an illegal brochure and alleged interference with the investigations into who was responsible.

“It's been a long three weeks, but it's great to be back in the saddle,” said Heed.

Responding to reporters' questions Heed denied his election was tainted or that he is serving under a cloud. “I was confident I'd done absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. “The special prosecutor has made his ruling, and he has exonerated me.”

“The premier has exercised poor judgment,” said Mike Farnworth, the NDP critic for the ministry of public safety and solicitor general. “This election has been tainted. There is a bit of a cloud.”

The charges against Heed's two most senior staff members are serious and Campbell should have waited until the court case is over before deciding what to do, he said.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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