Police allege in the court application that Livingston allowed a non-government employee, Faist, to use a special administrative password to install and use software to wipe data on 24 computer hard drives in the premier’s office.
Court documents from an earlier search warrant served at another Ontario government office in Mississauga last February alleged that Livingston brought Faist in to erase files from computers despite concerns raised by the secretary of cabinet, Peter Wallace, the province’s top civil servant.
“Mr. Wallace was concerned by this request (for an administrative password) since it could potentially be used to
destroy or alter data,” wrote Det.-Const. Andre Duval, who wrote the application.
Ontario’s privacy commissioner and the OPP both concluded that Livingston sought out advice from the government’s chief information officer and others on how to permanently wipe data from computers.
“He learned that if emails are double deleted, they cannot be retrieved,” wrote Duval. “He also learned that back-up tapes in the premier’s office have never been used to satisfy a freedom of information request.”