BAY ROBERTS, NL — A former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister who came close to leading the provincial party will soon return to work as a practicing lawyer.
John Ottenheimer is joining Morrow, Morrow & Crosbie Law Office. He was appointed CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation in July of 2015 by former premier Paul Davis and fired without cause a year later, only a few months after a new Liberal majority government was formed.
Ottenheimer told The Compass the decision to resume his law career took some time to make.
"I've given some thought as to what I would get involved in, and I made a decision a number of weeks ago that I would like to return to the practice of law," he said. "I've practiced now for between 25 and 30 years, and it's a profession that I've enjoyed very much."
As for the decision to join the Morrow, Morrow & Crosbie firm, Ottenheimer lives in Marysvale, which is only a short drive from the Bay Roberts office.
"And they appear to be a very young and dynamic law firm, and the nature of their practice is something that interests me very much," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."
Ottenheimer served as a cabinet minister for several years under Danny Williams and came extremely close to leading the PCs following a tight leadership race in 2014 he ultimately lost to Davis. He's now joining a firm featuring two prominent Liberal party supporters. Bill Morrow ran federally for the Liberals in 2006, and Judy Morrow has been heavily involved with the provincial party executive.
"This is not about politics," Ottenheimer pointed out. "We are professionals, we are lawyers and we want to service the needs of residents of the area."
Ottenheimer expects to work out of the firm's two offices, located in Bay Roberts and Carbonear. He anticipates dealing with plenty of personal injury cases, real estate agreements and wills.
"Collectively, I'm sure I'll be busy, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."