Court finds former Saanich IT workers explanation for improperly accessed documents ‘implausible’

Court finds former Saanich IT workers explanation for improperly accessed documents 'implausible'

B.C.’s Supreme Court has ruled that a former Saanich IT worker made copies and disseminated them of documents that contained personal information without authorization to do so.

Guy Gondor was an employee of the District of Saanich until Feb. 17, 2022, and the Attorney General of B.C. on behalf of Saanich said an investigation found that on two occasions, Guy made copies of records containing personal information without authorization.

The files in question related to an ongoing dispute Guy’s son, Darian Gondor, was involved in.

Darian has been involved in a dispute with Saanich and his neighbours over turning his property into a hobby farm, and the court ruling by Justice Geoffrey Gomery found many of the documents copied by Guy were concerning that dispute.

In the Supreme Court, Guy argued that copying the files was a coincidence and was involved while he was working to resolve an issue with the USB port to see if the port was properly configured.

“He says that he did not further copy or keep the data, and he left the memory stick with the District when his employment ended,” the court ruling by Gomery says.

“He specifically denies under oath that he had anything to do with the burning of the DVDs containing the Identified Records. Mr. Gondor denies that he provided anything belonging to the District to Darian Gondor.”

However, there was no IT ticket created to bring this alleged issue to the attention of the IT department, which Guy argued is sometimes the case with IT issues.

“It is not only that there are no tickets,” Gomery says in the ruling.

“Neither are their emails, memoranda, nor anything else to corroborate the existence of a problem, a request that work be undertaken, or reporting on what was done to address the problem. The utter absence of relevant documentation is implausible.”

Guy also argues that while he did copy those files onto a USB stick, the files were chosen at random as part of the test. The Attorney General countered that the three folders that were copied were not side-by-side.

“The supposed coincidence is implausible,” the court ruling says.

Guy also argued that there is an “important gap” in the investigation into him copying the documents, which is that there was no evidence put forward by his supervisor, Mr. Haigh.

“Mr. Haigh died on September 4, 2022, before this proceeding was commenced in May 2023,” the court ruling says. “There is nothing to be taken from the regrettable fact that his evidence is unavailable.”

As a result of the findings, the court ruled that the Attorney General is owed all of the orders it sought in the court proceedings, as well as costs related to the proceeding.

The Attorney General was seeking that Guy be ordered to return all records, destroy all records in his possession and disclose the list of names of whom he provided copies.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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