Thursday, December 16, 1999 11:15 AM EST

Keon drops bomb!

OTTAWA — One of Canada's most respected heart surgeons has resigned as the head of the renowned University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Sixty-four year-old Conservative Senator, Wilbert Keon, says he made the decision following what he calls "an error of judgement".

Yesterday, Keon admitted publicly he was caught in an undercover prostitution sweep. He made the announcement with his wife, Ann and three adult children, at his side. His voice was strangled by emotion as he said, "I have made this painful decision. I know I have to step down". Keon admits his conduct was inexcusable.

Two and a half weeks ago he was heading to his senate office from the Heart Institute when he pulled over and started talking to a woman. That woman turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Keon felt it looked worse than it was. "She didn't look like a prostitute to me," he said. "There was an appearance of impropriety … but I guess the police officer thought my intentions were different." Police did not charge Keon because he completed a sensitivity program called "John School".

He will stop performing surgery for a while and has not said whether he'll continue as a senator.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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Created: February 27, 2001
Last modified: February 27, 2001
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