Monday, February 02, 2009

Just when you think the Brazeau Senate pick couldn't get any worse...

It does. Further to this post last week, the Globe confirms: "Brazeau hires former colleagues amid drinking-at-work allegations."
The two most senior officials at the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, both of whom were accused of drinking at work, have resigned from the organization and have now been hired as aides by Senator Patrick Brazeau.

Mr. Brazeau resigned from the congress after his Senate appointment in December amid criticism that he would be drawing two six-figure salaries at taxpayers' expense if he stayed on.

As national chief of the Congress, Mr. Brazeau, his chief of staff, Lorraine Foreman, and his director of public affairs, Al Fleming, regularly returned to the office after lunch outings smelling of alcohol, several former congress staffers have told The Globe and Mail. Drinking would also take place in Mr. Brazeau's second-floor office, according to former staff, where there was Scotch on hand and a small fridge stocked with beer.

Ms. Foreman - who also goes by the name Lorraine Rochon - and Mr. Fleming are now listed on the Senate website as the only employees of Mr. Brazeau's office.
Now that's not Senate reform we can believe in!  

Also of importance here, Jade Harper, the former employee who initiated a grievance alleging sexual harassment against Brazeau, wrote a letter to Mr. Harper last week which appears to expand the allegations of sexual harassment to others: 
Ms. Harper sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper dated Jan. 26, 2009, asking him to postpone Mr. Brazeau's appointment to the Senate until all allegations against him are fully investigated.

"I have been contacted by several young women since my own story was repeated in the media and their stories are similar to mine in their encounters and the resulting emotional and mental stress that they continue to experience," wrote Ms. Harper, offering to brief the Prime Minister further in confidence.

"There are many of us willing to step forward to attest to the track record of Mr. Brazeau as an employer and community leader. To date, there have been no investigations into these claims. Instead, we look on in amazement as Mr. Brazeau is appointed to the Senate."
While these are not formal allegations, it sounds like they're willing to put them on the record, further clouding Mr. Brazeau's appointment.

Also of importance here, the information that the board of the Congress met throughout last week and "...will release a statement on the future of the Congress tomorrow."  Whether that has to do with the east-west divisions, we'll see.  

The implosion that continues to roll on and on and on...much to the embarrassment of Mr. Harper, who clearly exercised very poor judgment with this pick.