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Redford says lawsuit scandal nasty politics

CALGARY - Alberta Premier Alison Redford says the conflict of interest allegations around the awarding of a tobacco contract to her ex-husband's law firm are nothing more than nasty politics.

Redford says her split from Robert Hawkes happened more than 20 years ago and, when she sees him, she doesn't even think of him as her former husband.

Hawkes is a partner in one of the law firms leading Alberta's $10-billion lawsuit against Big Tobacco.

Documents show that as justice minister in 2010, Redford recommended which firm should get the contract — a conflict in the eyes of the opposition.

Redford has maintained it was her predecessor who made the decision on the contract, even though bureaucrats wrote emails suggesting the deal was done while she was still on the job.

The Opposition Wildrose has accused Redford of deliberately misleading Albertans on the file and the NDP has asked her to step aside as premier while the matter is investigated.

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