Ah, the Special Prosecutor system worked again, for the BC Liberals. Today, Kash Heed applauded the work of Jane Thornthwaite‘s Special Prosecutor Mark Jette and issued this statement. At least, it was attributed to Mr. Heed but I haven’t yet confirmed authenticity with him directly.
“Once again the Special Prosecutor has kept a BC Liberal politician from being persecuted by police and media. Jane was stopped at a roadblock after a night of drinking with government colleagues and an apparently inexperienced police officer failed to recognize her. That led to the embarrassment of arrest after being forced to blow repeatedly into a breathalyser. She should have been allowed to proceed home and, if police really needed a breath sample, Jane could have given one the next day.
“Unfortunately, reporters found out about her arrest and pressured Ms. Thornthwaite for a statement. Flustered and under pressure, she admitted to drinking and driving and apologized. Luckily, our system allows for a Special Prosecutor to be appointed when Liberal politicians might be harassed by an ignorant and overenthusiastic local prosecutor who doesn’t understand how government officials should be handled.
“Fortunately, Mark Jette took his time and considered all the options in a case that required intense review, lasting over a year. No doubt, Mr. Jette sacrificed greatly to handle the file. He is after all, a very successful and senior lawyer. He showed his skill by convincing Jane to plead guilty to a minor motor vehicle act charge that might not even have been proved in court. Doing it this way allows the crown to apply the fine that Ms. Thornthwaite generously agreed to pay to Mr. Jette’s legal costs. Everyone’s a winner.”
It is pretty clear that Jane Thornthwaite was just unlucky in this case. Many people drink and drive without being caught. Thornthwaite’s lawyer Don Muldoon told Judge Carol Baird Ellan that she had consumed alcohol that night but showed no signs of intoxication. A wry observer might suggest that showing no signs is itself a sign of a practiced drinker. However, there must have been indications of intoxication that led to those pesky breathalyser test results, which were well over the legal limit of the day and twice the level of today.
So much for “taking full responsibility.”
April 28, 2010 Ms. Thornthwaite said,
“My actions were inexcusable. Drinking and driving is dangerous and completely unacceptable; I know that and make no excuses for what I did.
“I know what I did was wrong and I will take full responsibility for my actions . . .”
June 25, 2010 Ms. Thornthwaite said,
Gordon Campbell said:
“People make mistakes, and I’ve made them myself,”