NEWS

Fired Vikileaks creator Carroll working for Liberals again

08/02/2012 04:08 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 EDT
A Liberal staffer fired for posting online the alleged details of a cabinet minister's divorce on Twitter is working for the party once again.

Adam Carroll, who took to an anonymous Twitter account with details obtained from the divorce filings of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' ex-wife, is working out of Liberal Party headquarters in Ottawa.

Carroll told a parliamentary committee he was angry when Toews told a Liberal critic that he could stand with the government or "with the child pornographers" on a bill to bring in online surveillance.

Critics, including the federal privacy commissioner, said the bill was unnecessarily invasive. The initial tweet from the @vikileaks30 account suggested if Toews wanted to know all about Canadians, Carroll would tell Twitter users all about Toews.

House of Commons IT staff tracked the account back to Carroll's computer and interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae asked for his resignation.

A spokeswoman for the Liberal Party wouldn't say whether Carroll is working for them.

"We don't comment on personnel," Sarah Bain said.

For a story that played out so much on social media, it's fitting that Carroll used Twitter to confirm his return to the party, and that Toews used it to respond.

Asked by CBC News journalist Kady O'Malley whether he could confirm it was true, Carroll tweeted, "I would, but I don't tweet from work."

Crocodile tear apology

Toews quickly responded to the news, accusing Rae of faking sincerity when he apologized for Carroll's actions.

"I see @AdamGCarroll is back at [Liberal Party of Canada] after crocodile tear apology from @bobraeMP. @justinpjtrudeau & LPC must come clean on who knew what," Toews said.

Conservative MPs questioning Carroll at the House committee suggested they believed there were more people than just him behind the account. They pointed specifically to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, who was the first MP to pass along a vikileaks tweet.

A spokesman from Toews' office emailed a statement that mimicked one the Conservative Party sent to supporters.

"The Liberal Party of Canada has re-hired disgraced Liberal staffer Adam Carroll, just months after firing him for using House of Commons resources to launch a vicious, personal attack against the minister of public safety," Mike Mueller said.

"This dramatic reversal by the Liberal Party suggests that Carroll acted with the full knowledge and consent of the senior ranks of the Liberal Party."

The online surveillance legislation, which appears to have been shelved, also drew days of tweets from users protesting by flooding Toews' Twitter feed with mundane details of their lives. Using the hashtag #tellviceverything, Twitter users provided information like what they were eating for breakfast and philosophical questions they were considering.

This wouldn't be the first time a political staffer was temporarily unemployed before finding similar work.

Last year, a staffer in Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office was hauled before a committee after using ministerial letterhead for a fundraising mail-out. An NDP MP was inadvertently sent one of the packages and went to the media with it. The staffer, Kasra Nejatian, was back in Kenney's office after the election and working as the director of communications. He has since moved into a strategic planning job.

In 2008, Conservative staffer Ryan Sparrow was suspended from the Conservatives' campaign after telling a journalist that the father of a dead soldier criticized the government because he was a Liberal supporter. He continued working for the government following the election.

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