Doug Walls - the New Democrat version?

Bi-jurisdictional New Democrat operative John Horgan may have gotten some inadvertent help in his attempt to become the party's provincial candidate in Malahat-Juan de Fuca. It turns out his nearest rival, realtor Richard Hughes (who ran in the last election), has run into some very serious legal troubles. On Saturday, Times Colonist staffer Ian Dutton reported a Cobble Hill compositing company was suing the Cowichan Valley Regional District and several past and present directors for $100 million - including Mr. Hughes.

As part of that lawsuit, Westcoast Landfill Diversion Corp. lawyer Richard Taylor, who works for Victoria-based Crease Harman and Company, filed a statement last Monday alleging Mr. Hughes, "sought financial remuneration or kickbacks from Westcoast, and when they were not forthcoming, conducted a vendetta against the company. The statement also alleged Hughes was in a conflict of interest over land that was sold to the company to set up its composting operation."

Mr. Hughes has denied those allegations. But this kind of legal cloud could rain on his nomination chances, effectively clearing the way for Mr. Horgan.

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