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Controversy has opposition calling for premier to step aside
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:30PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:33PM MST
Brian Mason, the leader of the NDP, is calling on Premier Alison Redford to step aside amid allegations of a conflict of interest.
The NDP and the Wildrose say Redford lied on Wednesday when she said she had no part in picking her ex-husband's law firm to handle a $10 Million dollar tobacco lawsuit.
Redford is fuming about the allegations and lashed out at the opposition in the legislature.
She admits she wrote a memo as justice minister suggesting her ex's law firm be chosen for the high-profile suit but she insists she didn't make the final decision.
Redford held a news conference on Thursday and maintained that she has done nothing wrong.
Part of the controversy revolves around documents that show that all three law firms, bidding on the contract, were notified of the decision while Redford was Justice Minister.
Redford says the final decision was made after she was out of office.
"What I was asked to do was to consider the factors that needed to be considered. I did that, that was my job at the time. There was no decision made with respect as to who would be retained until well into June," said Redford.
Documents obtained by CTV News show two memos which infer that Alison Redford chose her ex-husband's firm.
In one she says "the best choice for Alberta will be the International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers" and in another memo, another government employee says "Minister Redford selected the International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers".
The opposition says Redford needs to step aside until this is resolved.
“You can't call someone a liar in the house but it's clear that the Premier lied about her involvement in this case and it's clear that the government is in full damage control,” said mason.
In the documents, both the government and the law firm agreed to meet in January to begin negotiating their contract. Redford stepped down as justice minister in Febuary,
CTV News spoke to a representative from the law firm that is part of the consortium that was awarded the contract and they say they made the pitch while Redford was justice minister and negotiated the contract when she was a backbencher.
They say they kept her ex-husband far away from the bid and from negotiations because they didn't want any allegations of a conflict later on.