N.S. legislature committee hears testimony on cabinets minister accident

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HALIFAX A Halifax police officer investigating what he thought was a routine fender-bender went to his superiors for direction after learning one of the drivers was a Nova Scotia cabinet minister, a legislature committee was told Wednesday.

HALIFAX A Halifax police officer investigating what he thought was a routine fender-bender went to his superiors for direction after learning one of the drivers was a Nova Scotia cabinet minister, a legislature committee was told Wednesday.

The public accounts committee was told that Const. Michael Cheeseman called a Transportation Department official on Nov. 29 to ask who was behind the wheel of a government-leased car involved in the Nov. 24 accident at a city intersection.

I explained to him that Ernie Fage was a cabinet minister in the government, provincial fleet manager Kevin Mitchell said during testimony to the committee.

Constable Cheeseman then made a comment that he would have to talk to his superiors on how to handle the case because of the position Ernie held.

Fage hit another car while on his way home from a post-legislature party. The Conservative member for Cumberland North pleaded not guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run charges.

Fage resigned as human resources minister on Jan. 4, less than two hours after cellphone photos and video of the accident scene were broadcast on television.

Liberal Keith Colwell said police need to prove cabinet ministers dont get special treatment. That should be investigated.

Const. Jeff Carr, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Police, said the department already conducted an internal probe. He said Cheesemans immediate superior told him to carry on as if Fage was an ordinary citizen.

Its just human nature to ask, Carr said. Hes a junior officer.

Fage wasnt charged until Feb. 20 six weeks after the hit-and-run allegations were reported in the media.

(Halifax Daily News)





19:14ET 25-04-07





Organizations: N.S. legislature committee, Transportation Department, Halifax Regional Police Daily News

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Cumberland North

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