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Duffy billed taxpayers thousands to attend funerals: Mounties 0

By Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

Senator Mike Duffy.     REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Senator Mike Duffy. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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OTTAWA — Suspended senator Mike Duffy charged taxpayers thousands of dollars for his personal expenses when he attended funerals and "related ceremonies," the Mounties allege in newly released court documents.

New details of the 68-year-old's spending became public shortly after the RCMP charged him Friday with 31 criminal offences, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

The RCMP claims Duffy — almost immediately after the prime minister appointed him to the Senate in 2008 — began billing taxpayers inappropriately for housing and travel costs and bogus consulting contracts.

Police also allege Duffy broke the law when he accepted $90,000 from the Prime Minister's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright.

Between April 2009 and March 2012, RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton says Duffy filed five travel expense claims exceeding $5,000 related to "personal attendance at funerals and related ceremonies."

Duffy also allegedly filed eight inappropriate travel expenses for "personal and partisan activity" between June 2009 and Sept. 2012.

The documents say between February 2008 and January 2012, Duffy billed taxpayers thousands of dollars for consulting contracts that produced little to no actual work. The contracts were for four people, including his friend Gerald Donohue, the documents say. The other consultants named are Ashley Cain, Jacqueline Lambert, and Mike Croskery.

Duffy's lawyer has consistently maintained throughout the Senate scandal that his client is innocent and will be exonerated when the facts come out during trial.

The next court date is scheduled for Sept. 16.

Giuseppe.valiante@sunmedia.ca

@gvaliante

 

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