Ethics commissioner says Harper's former chief of staff shouldn't have pressed party to cover senator's bills
By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Posted: May 25, 2017
Former prime minister Stephen Harper's one-time chief of staff was never prosecuted for his role in Mike Duffy's Senate expenses fiasco but now Nigel Wright is getting a belated slap on the wrist from the federal ethics watchdog.
In a long-awaited report released Thursday, ethics commissioner Mary Dawson says Wright broke both the Parliament of Canada Act and the Conflict of Interest Act when he personally gave Duffy $90,000 to repay the Senate for questionable living expense claims.
By giving Duffy the money as part of an agreement in which the senator was to reimburse the Senate and acknowledge the error of his ways, Dawson says, "Mr. Wright was improperly furthering Sen. Duffy's private interests," sparing him the need to use his own funds. That's a violation of conflict of interest rules.
Moreover, she says Wright broke another section of the act when he used his position as Harper's right-hand man to try to influence Conservative bagman Sen. Irving Gerstein and the Conservative Fund Canada to dip into party coffers to reimburse Duffy's expenses.
Full article at link: