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RCMP lay fraud charges against senator Add to ...

The RCMP has laid charges of fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice against senator Raymond Lavigne, who is currently suspended from the Liberal caucus.

In a statement, the RCMP alleged that Mr. Lavigne misappropriated Senate funds and instructed one his employees "to carry out tasks unrelated to Senate duties."

Mr. Lavigne made headlines last year a Senate committee alleged that he misused nearly $24,000 in Senate funds and sent a staff member to cut down trees at his Quebec cottage.

Mr. Lavigne has been on medical leave, but senators have asked to hire a doctor to check whether he actually underwent hemorrhoidal surgery and determine whether he deserves sick pay.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien named Mr. Lavigne to the Senate in 2002, to make way for former Quebec provincial minister Liza Frulla to enter the House of Commons.

A Liberal spokesman said that Mr. Lavigne, who was removed from the Liberal caucus last year, "will remain suspended until the conclusion of the judicial process."

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