A campaign assistant to Julie Green is retiring from politics after he was caught tampering with election signs.
In a 17-word email to Yellowknifer, Craig Yeo stated that at age 65, this was his “last job.”
In late September CBC reported that Yeo had been caught removing and replacing Yellowknife Centre candidate Arlene Hache’s signs in Northern United Place.
Green denied any connection to the incident.
According to an email sent from chief electoral officer Nicole Latour to Hache, a grievance was filed with Elections NWT and Yeo was found to have broken section 296 of the Elections and Plebiscites Act. He admitted guilt in full and submitted an apology.
“I know I caused them and you harm in hurt and anxiety and damaged your right to have your voice heard in the current election,” wrote Yeo in his apology.
“I did this on a stupid impulse without forethought and respect for you or for the harm I would cause.”
Yeo also served as the constituency assistant to Frame Lake MLA O’Reilly and Green during the last session of the legislative assembly. Initially both MLAs did not comment on whether or not he would be rehired.
“The decision is not mine alone because two of us employed him,” Green told Yellowknifer.
O’Reilly, who said the sharing of constituency agents among MLAs is not unheard of, told Yellowknifer he hadn’t considered anyone for such a position yet for the upcoming assembly.
Hache took to Facebook to highlight her frustrations over the matter, despite Elections NWT calling it a closed issue.
“Julie Green was quick to pronounce she had terminated the volunteer from her campaign team,” she wrote in a post.
“She isn’t so quick to say she will not rehire Craig Yeo as her constituency assistant. Neither is Kevin O’Reilly prepared to make that decision choosing instead to minimize it as a stupid mistake. Craig Yeo is one of the most experienced political operatives in the NWT, that is why he was hired. These two MLAs railed against ministers in the house for lack of transparency and accountability but fail to hold themselves to the same standard.”
Hache went on to suggest that Yeo should not be rehired.
Danielle Mager, manager of public affairs and communications at the legislative assembly, said that constituency assistants are hired at the discretion of MLAs.
They are not GNWT employees and are not subject to vetting.