Senator Mike Duffy appeared in court today and was cleared of all 31 criminal charges today. Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt also issued a critiques on the actions of the office of former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
Senator Mike Duffy was reinstated in his role as Senator with full salary and office resources.
Senator Duffy faced 31 criminal charges; 28 of the charges were related to office, travel, and house expenses. The other 3 charges related to a $90,000 payment that was issued to Duffy from Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff.
One of the main focuses of the trial was the expenses that were submitted for Duffy’s residence in Ottawa, even though his formal residence was in PEI, Canada. According to The Globe and Mail, Vaillancourt said, regarding the residence, “I am not satisfied that the Crown has proven the guilt of Senator Duffy in relation to alleged fraudulent residency declarations and expense claims.” He went on to say that the rules were not clear and that Duffy acted on the advice of others in the upper chamber, including Stephen Harper himself, regarding what he was and was not allowed to claim.
Regarding the $90,000 that was issued to Duffy, CBC reports that Vallaincourt said that, “Duffy was another “piece on the chess board,” and the unwilling partner in a scheme to cover back $90,000 in expenses, even though they were likely legitimate.”
Vaillancourt said that Duffy’s expenses that were in question were “appropriate” and that he could see “no sinister motive” and found “no criminal intent” on Duffy’s part.
On Twitter, many people are voicing the opinion that Duffy was just a scapegoat in many of Harper’s dealings and that Harper should now have to answer for his actions.
Other’s feel that the media played a big role in what Mike Duffy had to go through.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments.
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