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Ex-premier Redford used public money ‘inappropriately,’ auditor general reports

Alison Redford speaks to reporters in Calgary on March 15, 2014.


Alberta's auditor general says former premier Alison Redford and her office used public resources inappropriately.

Merwan Saher concludes that they consistently failed to demonstrate that travel expenses were necessary and a reasonable and appropriate use of taxpayer money.

He says Redford used public assets, including government aircraft, for personal and partisan purposes.

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"Overall, the expense practices and use of public assets by premier Redford and her office have fallen short of publicly stated goals," Saher wrote in a report Thursday.

"How could this happen? The answer is the aura of power around premier Redford and her office and the perception that the influence of the office should not be questioned."

Saher also says that Redford was involved in a plan to add a premier's suite to a government building being renovated near the legislature.

Saher makes the conclusions in a review of Redford's travel expenses and use of government aircraft.

He lays the blame squarely on Redford and her staff.

"It would be wrong for anyone to extrapolate our findings and conclusions to the public service of Alberta as a whole."

Redford resigned as premier in March as a caucus revolt brewed over her leadership style and lavish spending.

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She resigned her seat as a backbencher Wednesday and in a letter acknowledged mistakes were made during her time in office.

She said she would not be commenting further.

Premier David Hancock, who has had the report since Friday, said he wants the RCMP to review Saher's findings.

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