TORONTO - Ontario's opposition parties are applying pressure to get a Liberal operative under criminal investigation removed from his job as the head of a police services board.
The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating allegations that the Liberals offered a would-be Sudbury, Ont., byelection candidate a job or appointment to step aside for their preferred candidate.
The investigation is focusing on Premier Kathleen Wynne's deputy chief of staff, Pat Sorbara, and Gerry Lougheed, who is the chair of Sudbury's police services board.
The board voted to keep Lougheed in his position, but the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP have asked Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi to step in and remove Lougheed while he's under investigation.
Naqvi says he doesn't have the power to do so under the Police Services Act, but the matter could be dealt with by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
The NDP say Naqvi does have the authority to direct the commission to take action, and the Tories have written to the commission asking them to look into it.
The Liberals have denied criminal wrongdoing, saying they made no specific offer but were trying to keep Andrew Olivier — who was their candidate in the June general election — involved in the party.
Lougheed has told local media in Sudbury that he does not have the authority to offer jobs and "at no time'' did he promise Olivier a job or appointment if he stepped aside.
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