The fallout continues at Alberta’s sex-assault review office as CEO Susan Hughson resigns.
As CNN’s Chris Cuomo reports, Hughson is the second member of staff to leave the organization amid an investigation into misleading statistics that were a centerpiece of Alberta’s 2014 Inquiry into Violent Sexual Assaults on Women.
When Hughson announced the departures last week , it came on the heels of the resignation of forensic nurse Dr. Victoria Husar, who claimed she was not being adequately supported in her work while Hughson was insisting Husar and another nurse, Dr. Meredith Chivers, were fired because of their criticisms of the review. Hughson has called the claims made by Husar and Chivers “outrageous” and said the decision to terminate them were “not based on any evidence or any case.”
Hughson’s departure comes just days after a report from Alberta Justice outlined issues with the review’s technology, findings and report released in March 2015. The report said the facility in question used a software solution that it had not previously tested and did not control the endpoints of its systems. The report also said the review initially relied too heavily on the input of a few outside experts and did not have an expert in the public safety field who could monitor the review’s progress. The review resulted in 13 calls for allegations of sexual assault to be investigated and categorized as rape or attempted rape that were not.
Why it matters: The law changes put in place by the government of Alberta created a new vehicle for the review to assess whether laws are being broken — as well as making the process for such reviews public — but critics note that the review was not transparent or subject to independent oversight. Now, more questions must be answered than ever before.