Former head of eHealth drive pleads guilty in corruption case

Ron Danderfer is to be sentenced on a charge of breach of trust

An ex-provincial bureaucrat who led B.C.’s troubled eHealth program has pleaded guilty to one charge of breach of trust.

Ron Danderfer, a former assistant deputy minister of health, faces a sentencing hearing July 14 for accepting benefits beyond what is permitted by government policy.

Three other charges of breach of trust and fraud against him are being dropped.

The eHealth initiative aimed to digitize and share health records across the province.

But it toppled into scandal when criminal charges were laid based on allegations a health technology contractor who wanted Danderfer to approve contracts for his firm offered him various income and benefits, as well as employment or trips for family members.

The contractor, Dr. Jonathan Alan Burns of Abbotsford, was previously sentenced to three years probation and community service for two counts of offering to bribe a government official.

A third man charged in March 2010 in related events, Fraser Health network services manager James Roy Taylor, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Danderfer was suspended from his government job in 2007 and retired that year.

Because of the guilty plea the province will not pay Danderfer’s legal expenses. That’s in contrast to the $6 million in legal bills the province covered for Dave Basi and Bob Virk after their guilty pleas in the BC Rail corruption trial.

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