John Yap admits to lapse in judgement
Richmond Steveston MLA John Yap said he was "remorseful and regretful" in his handling of an e-mail from one of his staffers relating to the handling of a constituent's request for help in applying for an ethnic outreach job.
That staffer, Mike Lee, resigned Thursday following the release of the report into the ethnic outreach scandal written by John Dyble. The ethnic outreach strategy involved plans to use government resources to do political work for the Liberals in their re-election campaign.
"It is absolutely critical that we do not leave any evidence in us helping them through this application," Lee wrote in his personal e-mail account to Yap and former ministry communications director Brian Bonney.
In reply, Yap said: "I appreciate each of your efforts with the three (requests for qualifications). Great job. Let's hope for the best."
In explaining his actions, Yap took full responsibility for not speaking up, and reacting strongly to Lee's "choice of words."
Yap said: "I admit my choice of words back to the fomer staff member was one of a quick word of encouragement for someone who was working very hard in public service."
Yap said Lee's e-mail, one of about 60 to 100 he receives daily, should have triggered a rebuke.
"I'm not making an excuse, but clearly I fell short there, and of course feel remorseful and regretful."
Asked if he's aware if any other cabinet colleagues were aware of efforts to conceal potential "evidence" of the ethnic outreach strategy, Yap danced around the topic.
But he did say that discussions in cabinet are held "in-camera" meaning what's discussed there is not for public consumption.
What happened outside cabinet is his responsibility, he said.
Yap resigned from cabinet last week and will not be reappointed "at this time," according to Premier Christy Clark.