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Dean French's niece resigns from Ontario's Public Accountants Council

Last Updated Jun 25, 2019 at 3:36 pm EDT

Dean French, centre, then chief of staff for Doug Ford, listens to the Ontario Premier speak at the Ontario PC Convention in Toronto on Nov. 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Former Chief of Staff to the Premier Dean French’s niece has resigned, hours after it was revealed she had been appointed to the Ontario’s Public Accountants Council back in December.

French resigned on Friday night after a string of controversies in the government’s first year that culminated in the premier rescinding the lucrative appointments of two other people with reported ties to Dean French.

The Premier’s office confirmed Katherine Pal is French’s wife’s Jane Pal French’s niece. The NDP say she was appointed on Dec. 31 and made $1,400 per meeting. Pal resigned Tuesday, effective immediately.

NDP MPP Taras Natyshak said in a statement, “This reeks of nepotism, with paycheques, power and favours for Ford’s inner circle, while everyday Ontarians get nothing but cuts.”

It’s not clear whether Premier Doug Ford was aware of the familial relationship between Dean French and Pal when she was appointed.

Ford sent out a message to PC MPP’s shortly after the news broke, thanking them for their support over the last few days, according to a source.

The letter read, “While I thank Dean for his service over the last year, I need to be clear he no longer has a role in our government or the party. Dean’s advice and support has been appreciated but he no longer has any influence in this government.”

Two of four agent-generals appointed last week had their positions rescinded after it was revealed one was related to French and another was a friend of French’s son.