The following is a breakdown of the Senate expense cases currently being investigated by the RCMP.
After closing the Nigel Wright file, the RCMP are nearing completion on the investigation into suspended senator Mike Duffy’s expense claims and his contractual dealings with one of his friends, according to sources. Mr. Duffy, who was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper but was sitting as an independent when he was suspended in November, is still under investigation for his living allowances, with the RCMP looking at housing claims that were made for a secondary residence in the Ottawa area. There is evidence that he spent more of his time in Ottawa than at his Prince Edward Island residence. In addition, the RCMP are looking into $64,916.50 in contracts that went to Gerald Donohue, one of Mr. Duffy’s friends.
The investigation into suspended senator Pamela Wallin is still months away from completion, with much work left to go over her agendas and explore her expense claims. In court records, the RCMP have alleged that Ms. Wallin used “deceit, falsehood, or other fraudulent means” to defraud the Senate of more than $5,000. The Mounties also alleged that Senate staff cautioned Ms. Wallin about her expenses on several occasions beginning in September, 2009. The Saskatchewan senator told a Toronto radio station in April that she regrets paying back money for expense claims that she still doesn’t see as dubious. Like Mr. Duffy, Ms. Wallin was appointed by Mr. Harper, but was sitting as an independent when she was suspended without pay in November.
Patrick Brazeau is facing fraud and breach of trust charges in relation to his Senate expense claims. The Senate ordered Mr. Brazeau to pay back almost $50,000 over disputed expense claims. He refused, and the Senate garnisheed his salary until last November, when he was suspended without pay. He, too, was appointed as a Conservative but was sitting as an independent when he was suspended. Mr. Brazeau, 39, was arrested and released on bail in April on charges of assault, uttering threats, cocaine possession and breach of conditions, after an altercation at a residence in Gatineau, Que.
Retired senator Mac Harb, an ex-Liberal, is also facing charges of fraud and breach of trust in relation to his expense claims. He resigned from the Senate in August after paying back $231,000 for ineligible housing and travel expenses.