Transport Minister John Baird says he never had discussions with Ottawa's mayor about a federal appointment for the man who accused the mayor of influence peddling in the 2006 municipal election.

Defence and Crown lawyers moved quickly through Baird's testimony on Thursday, questioning him about the appointment process and scrutinizing his relationships with the mayor and his accuser Terry Kilrea, who were both considered right-of-centre candidates in the 2006 race for mayor.

The charges facing Mayor Larry O'Brien stem from allegations he encouraged Kilrea to drop out of the 2006 mayor's race. The alleged incentive was a federal appointment on the National Parole Board.

Kilrea previously testified O'Brien told him that Baird, who was then-president of the Treasury Board, was the one who could help him with a federal appointment.

Kilrea alleges O'Brien later told him he had spoken to longtime federal Conservative John Reynolds, and his name was "in the queue" for an appointment to the National Parole Board.

Baird insists he never talked to O'Brien about appointment

However, Baird testified on Thursday that he never had discussions with O'Brien, Reynolds or any other federal Conservatives about Kilrea or a federal appointment.

Aside from a brief email exchange in which Kilrea brought up the subject of a federal appointment, Baird said the issue never came up again.

"To be honest, I didn't see him as a qualified candidate, so I never brought it up again," Baird told the court.

The minister also clarified a statement he made to police that suggested he spoke to Kilrea about the National Parole Board position in person.

Baird testified the discussion involved Kilrea's job woes as a sheriff's officer, not the parole board. As for the appointment, "he did not raise it, nor did I."

He went on to say O'Brien's name didn't "specifically" come up during the hour-long discussion with Kilrea about the municipal scene -- although the whole reason for the meeting was whether Kilrea should stay in the race, given O'Brien's impending candidacy.

Baird recounts email exchange with Kilrea

Baird's only moment of apparent discomfort came when he was asked about his initial email exchange with Kilrea.

"Are you looking for an appointment . . . this is the first that I've heard about it . . . heard a rumour yesterday that Larry was once again thinking about it . . .," Baird wrote in an email to Kilrea.

On the witness stand, Baird confirmed he was alluding to rumours at the time that O'Brien was about to enter the municipal race.

That prompted Crown prosecutor Scott Hutchison to ask repeatedly why Baird had so quickly associated Kilrea's appointment inquiry with O'Brien's mayoral bid.

"How are those two issues related is really what I'm asking," said Hutchison.

Baird responded that Kilrea's emails "mention an exchange with Mr. O'Brien" -- although the emails in evidence clearly do not mention any such exchange.

The Crown tried one more time: "And how does Mr. O'Brien becoming a candidate get connected to Mr. Kilrea seeking an appointment?"

Baird said Kilrea mentioned O'Brien in his email. At that, Hutchison let the matter drop.

Baird finished his testimony just after midday, avoiding reporters by leaving through the Crown's office and exiting the courthouse through a side door.

Kilrea finishes testimony

Following Baird's testimony, Kilrea returned to the witness stand to wrap up seven days of intense questioning by O'Brien's defence lawyer Michael Edelson.

On his last day on the stand, Kilrea was again challenged about the accuracy of his statements and was asked why he chose not to disclose the allegations against the mayor until after the 2006 election.

"You had the nuclear bomb . . . that you could have fired at Larry O'Brien; that you could have used in the race; the political weapon and you didn't tell anybody about it," said Edelson.

Kilrea simply replied: "No."

When he was asked a similar question by the Crown, Kilrea responded: "I didn't know it was illegal and I think the campaign would have been torpedoed."

When Edelson challenged him about the facts surrounding the July 2006 meeting where he alleges O'Brien offered to help him with a federal appointment, Kilrea stood by his words.

"I have sat here for seven days and I've sworn and I've told the truth," he said.

Kilrea says he'll consider running for office again

Outside the courthouse, Kilrea told reporters he hasn't shut the door on running in another municipal election, but next time he said he'd consider running as a municipal councillor.

"I certainly won't close the door," he said.

Kilrea dropped out of the municipal campaign on Aug. 30, 2006. At the time, he said it was because he lacked the proper finances. He was never offered a federal position.

The trial will resume next week with the lead investigator on the case, Det.-Sgt Brian Mason, set to take the stand on Monday.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem and a report from The Canadian Press