Update: N.S. legislators expense audit to reveal whether files sent to cops

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Nova Scotia's auditor general confirmed today that he spoke to police while conducting a second, more-sweeping forensic investigation into the expenses claimed by members of the province's legislature.
Jacques Lapointe will release his long-awaited followup Tuesday into a scandal that has touched all three parties in the house.
In an interview Monday, he said the forensic audit will include an examination of possible illegal activities but wouldn't elaborate.
"It involves an investigation into possible illegalities so naturally, as a matter of course, I would talk to police, talk to legal counsel," he said.
"That much I did and that much I can confirm."
Lapointe's first audit, released February and which examined only a three-year period from 2006 to 2009, revealed questionable purchases under constituency expenses such as big-screen TVs, an espresso machine and even a video game.
It set off a firestorm of public criticism of several members of the legislature.
Lapointe's latest audit is a more specific examination of a select group of legislators.
He said he launched the new investigation after receiving new information.
"It was a number of different sources - people who got in touch with us and forwarded us information," Lapointe said.
The auditor has never confirmed who was being investigated and said it's possible he may not release names Tuesday.
Premier Darrell Dexter has said he will release names if Lapointe provides them in his report.
Two politicians have quit since Lapointe's first probe.
David Wilson, the former Liberal member for Glace Bay, has never revealed his reason for stepping down. However, during the first probe, it was revealed he spent money inappropriately on patio furniture.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil has said Wilson was later asked by Lapointe to talk to him, but declined.
Richard Hurlburt, the former Conservative member for Yarmouth, also quit after being criticized for spending $8,000 on a generator that he installed in his own home.
Lapointe confirmed that Trevor Zinck, an Independent member of the legislature for Dartmouth North, was one of the politicians included in the second audit.
The former New Democrat was added to the forensic audit after the Speaker of the legislature referred the matter to Lapointe's office.
The NDP kicked Zinck out of its caucus in March, saying it lost trust in him after he had been reimbursed for unpaid bills in his constituency office.
Zinck admitted being late in paying constituency office bills for electricity, telephone and Internet because of a turnover in his office staff and because he had to assist in the care of his ailing father.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Glace Bay, Dartmouth North

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Recent comments

  • AR
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Only two politicians have quit since the Auditor General's probe ? Looks like the rest of the rogues are going to tough it out.
    The Auditor General will find the same skullduggery that went on with the 'Honourable' Members in the NL. & Lab House of Assembly. Four of the Honourable Members in that House were sent to the Big House, aka, prison. Politicians are
    ' honourable' ? Yeah, enough with that ' honourable' crap.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Go get 'em. We had our investigation, repayments, legal charges and convictions here in Newfoundland. Now it's Nova Scotia's turn.
    It seems like our federal MP's have voted to stop the Auditor General from reviewing their expenses. It's time we let them know we demand that the federal expenses are audited as well.

  • AR
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Only two politicians have quit since the Auditor General's probe ? Looks like the rest of the rogues are going to tough it out.
    The Auditor General will find the same skullduggery that went on with the 'Honourable' Members in the NL. & Lab House of Assembly. Four of the Honourable Members in that House were sent to the Big House, aka, prison. Politicians are
    ' honourable' ? Yeah, enough with that ' honourable' crap.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Go get 'em. We had our investigation, repayments, legal charges and convictions here in Newfoundland. Now it's Nova Scotia's turn.
    It seems like our federal MP's have voted to stop the Auditor General from reviewing their expenses. It's time we let them know we demand that the federal expenses are audited as well.