B.C. premier won't discuss handling of staff scandal

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is refusing to say why her former chief of staff was allowed to remain on the job for two weeks while an incident between him and a female government staff member who continued to work for him was under investigation.

Ken Boessenkool's abrupt resignation was announced Monday following the Sept. 7 incident at a Victoria bar. CBC News has learned that it involved Boessenkool allegedly engaging in inappropriate and unwelcome behaviour with the female staffer.

The incident was reported and an investigation was launched, but for the two weeks while the probe was ongoing, Clark allowed Boessenkool to remain at his post and as the woman's supervisor.

On Tuesday, the premier fended off questions about her decision, citing privacy rules.

"That has really been my mission in trying to bring this to a conclusion," she said. "I think people who have done nothing wrong, people who are innocent, shouldn't be hurt. I think we all bear that responsibility."

But Clark insisted she did everything by the book.

“Absolutely everything that was done was done absolutely to the letter required by government,” Clark told reporters in Victoria.

Clark also said she had a number of conversations with Boessenkool about the investigation as it progressed.

“We went out to get all the facts that we could gather.”

Clark appointed veteran bureaucrat Dan Doyle to replace Boessenkool as her new chief of staff.

Doyle, a recipient of the Order of B.C., has had a long career working in government, including a four-year stint as a deputy minister. He worked with the organizing committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and has been chairman of the BC Hydro board.

Boessenkool could not be reached for comment.

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