Is Vancouver lawyer Randeep Singh Sarai running for the provincial Liberals in the next election? According to cocktail partygoers, the answer is yes. So Public Eye rang Mr. Sarai to find out the truth of the situation. In an interview, he confirmed Premier Gordon Campbell had spoken to him about running in December. But, he said "I haven't made up my mind." If he did run, rumour has it a Vancouver MLA may step aside for him, possibly backbencher Ken Johnston.
Mr. Sarai was recently put forward by Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell's office as a candidate for the police board - an appointment that was rejected by city council. Earlier, he made headlines in The Georgia Straight when brother muckraker Charlie Smith reported Mr. Sarai was facing professional disciplinary action from the Law Society of British Columbia.
According to Mr. Smith, on November 16, the society "amended a citation against Sarai - which it first issued in July 2003 - alleging that he breached trust-accounting provisions by failing to report trust shortages and failing to remit collected social-service and goods-and-services taxes. In addition, the law society has alleged that Sarai failed to remit employee-source deductions, left a trust shortage of $11,154.89 for a client, and breached undertakings in relation to his real estateconveyancing practice. None of the law society's allegations have been proven." A hearing concerning those allegations was scheduled for January 25 but has been postponed.
Before the last federal election, Mr. Sarai announced he would be running for the federal Liberals in Vancouver South. But that campaign ended when Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed former premier Ujjal Dosanjh as the party's candidate in that riding.