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Abbott 'honoured' to have Heed's support

British Columbia Liberal leadership candidate George Abbott says he's happy to have former Solicitor General Kash Heed's endorsement, despite the reported new findings of a police investigation into Heed's 2009 election campaign.

"I think that's a decision George is going to have to make," Kevin Falcon, also running to lead the BC Liberals, said this morning. "Obviously the endorsation now carries with it some pretty serious allegations, but that's a decision I'll leave to George."

In a phone interview Abbott said he had seen media reports about the Heed case, but the former West Vancouver police chief's endorsement of Abbott for leader remains welcome. "Kash is a good friend and a supporter and I'm honoured to have his support," he said.

Heed's campaign was the subject of a police investigation that resulted in a special prosecutor recommending charges against three people, including Heed's campaign manager Barinder Sall. Heed was not charged, but the file was given a second look by a new special prosecutor after the first, Terrence Robertson, stepped down citing a conflict of interest.

Documents filed in court in October and unsealed this month allege Heed was "not telling the whole truth" in his statements to investigators, and they note under the Election Act, Heed, as a public official, bears responsibility for what happens in his campaign and constituency office.

The documents also allege that two Heed campaign workers, including Sall, were paid a total of $6,000 out of Heed's constituency allowance for their campaign work. Heed signed the cheques, they said. The allegations have not been tested in court and Heed did not respond to telephone and email messages.

The criminal justice branch released a statement saying special prosecutor Peter Wilson confirmed that he received a report from police investigators on Dec. 17, 2010 and is now reviewing it and the "extensive" attached materials.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here. With files from The Canadian Press.

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