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Former Nova Scotia cabinet minister gets house arrest in spending scandal

Richard Hurlburt and his wife Nancy arrive at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Yarmouth, N.S., on Thursday, April 12, 2012.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A former Nova Scotia cabinet minister who defrauded the province of more than $25,000 has been sentenced to a year of house arrest and a year of probation.

Richard Hurlburt pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of fraud and breach of trust in the province's constituency spending scandal.

An agreed statement of facts entered in the province's Supreme Court says the former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister defrauded the public purse of $25,321 between December 2006 and December 2008.

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Crown lawyer Andrew Macdonald had recommended a sentence of between nine and 12 months in jail, followed by probation.

But Stan MacDonald, Mr. Hurlburt's defence lawyer, called for a nine-month conditional sentence and 200 hours of community service, saying his client showed remorse, apologized and repaid the money.

Mr. Hurlburt is the second former member of the legislature to plead guilty in the scandal after Dave Wilson, a former Liberal, admitted to defrauding taxpayers of $61,000 to feed a gambling addiction.

Mr. Wilson was sentenced to nine months in jail.

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