Bruce Carson, ex-Harper staffer, guilty of influence peddling: top court. - 2018-03-23
Carson was Harper's research and policy director in Opposition and then his senior adviser for two years when Harper was Prime Minister.
His original trial for influence-peddling occurred in the midst of Harper's unsuccessful election campaign, just as one of Harper's hand-picked senators, Mike Duffy, was facing fraud charges. (Duffy was later exonerated.) Harper's former Parliamentary Secretary, MP Dean Del Mastro, has been convicted of election fraud and his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, was a key witness in Duffy's trial.
It was an embarrassing time for Harper as Carson was charged with influence-peddling for seeking a benefit for his then girlfriend, Michele McPherson, who had once worked as an escort in the Ottawa sex trade industry. He asked that 20 per cent of profits from the sale of H2O Professionals' water filtration systems to Indigenous bands be directed as commissions to McPherson.