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BC Rail special prosecutor cleared of professional misconduct Add to ...

William Berardino, the prosecutor in the high profile B.C. political corruption trial, has been cleared of allegations of professional misconduct arising from a $500 donation to the BC Liberal party.

Mr. Berardino's law firm made the $500 donation in 2005 to the campaign of former attorney-general Wally Oppal. Alberta lawyer Perry Mack investigated a complaint into the allegation of professional misconduct on behalf of the Law Society of B.C.

The investigation found no evidence of professional misconduct, a law society news release says.

The complaint, made last month, alleged Mr. Berardino had compromised his position because he had not disclosed the donation.

"After a thorough review of the facts and law, the Law Society has determined that no further action should be taken and has now closed the file," the law society news release says.

Mr. Berardino said later he had asked prominent Vancouver lawyer Thomas Berger for an opinion after the complaint was filed.

Mr. Berger told him that there was no conflict and no apparent conflict.

"I acted on that," he said in an interview outside the courtroom.

He was appointed "long before" his firm made the donation, he also said.

Mr. Berardino declined to comment on the law society ruling

The political corruption trial continued Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court with submissions on an issue without the jury present. The media is prohibited on reporting on the court proceedings when the jury is absent.

Three men have been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly trading confidential government information related to the $1-billion sale of BC Rail. David Basi was a former ministerial aide to then finance minister Gary Collins, Bob Virk was assistant to then transportation minister Judith Reid and Aneal Basi was a communications officer in transportation.

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