Murray on the stand

Rob Antle
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Former bureaucrat filled out forms when excess claims spiked

In a 2007 interview with police, Jim Walsh downplayed his relationship with House of Assembly bureaucrat Bill Murray.

But in provincial court Tuesday, Murray testified that he filled out every one of the last 46 constituency allowance claims Walsh filed during his final year and a half in politics.

Bill Murray takes the stand in the Jim Walsh trial. - Photo by Rob Antle/The Telegram

In a 2007 interview with police, Jim Walsh downplayed his relationship with House of Assembly bureaucrat Bill Murray.

But in provincial court Tuesday, Murray testified that he filled out every one of the last 46 constituency allowance claims Walsh filed during his final year and a half in politics.

During that time, the total amount of expense claims paid to Walsh's bank account spiked to roughly triple the MHA's published limit.

Murray was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, giving the first of what is expected to be several days of testimony in Walsh's corruption trial.

The day was largely taken up with the tedious task of examining every constituency allowance claim filed by Walsh from 1999 through the end of 2003.

From the end of April 2002 through Walsh's defeat in the October 2003 general election, Murray completed all of Walsh's claims.

Murray testified that nearly all of the handwriting on the claims was his, except for Walsh's signature.

Prior to 2002, Murray filled out few of Walsh's claims - just a handful in most years.

The change coincided with a dramatic increase in excess payments to the former MHA and Liberal cabinet minister.

Walsh's constituency spending limit in 2002-03 was $30,500. He filed - and was paid for - claims of more than $92,000, not including HST.

His limit was also $30,500 in 2003-04. Walsh was paid $91,000 that fiscal year, even though he served just six months before his election defeat.

Former House of Assembly clerk John Noel had already identified Murray's handwriting on most of those claims.

Noel's testimony - confirmed by Murray Tuesday - contrasts with statements made by Walsh to police two years ago.

Walsh told RNC investigators his staff was responsible for doing his constituency allowance claims.

Murray was not on Walsh's staff. He was the House bureaucrat in charge of the constituency allowance system.

Murray is also facing charges in relation with the spending scandal.

Walsh told police two years ago that he was friendly with Murray, but not friends.

RNC investigators alleged that Murray said Walsh had asked him for help, because of financial difficulties.

Walsh reacted angrily to the suggestion.

"There was nothing Bill Murray could do for me," Walsh told police in 2007. "Not - nothing. Anything he would have to do for me would have to be illegal."

Meanwhile, Tuesday began with a bit of drama before court proceedings started for the day.

Murray's lawyer, Averill Baker, voiced displeasure that her client had been subpoenaed in the Walsh case. "He is essentially being forced to testify," Baker told Judge David Orr.

She said evidence to be used by Crown prosecutors stemmed from an interview Murray did with Auditor General John Noseworthy in June 2006.

That interview took place "when my client was curled up in the fetal position in the Waterford Hospital," Baker told the judge.

But Orr noted that evidence given by Murray in the Walsh case cannot be used against him in his own trial.

Murray is expected to be on the stand for the remainder of the week.

Walsh is on trial for fraud over $5,000, breach of trust by a public officer and frauds on government. The charges relate to excess claims totalling $159,316 from his taxpayer-funded constituency allowance between 1998 and 2004.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Waterford Hospital

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Recent comments

  • fu
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Most of us don't care guess who 80% approval remember. Danny had the books opened up in the first place. If it wasn't for him none of this would not have came to light.

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Bones, why waste your time responding to Guess Who? Apparently he only just began following this story or he would have known that only for Danny this corruption would still be going on!!! Guess Who why don't you go back and read issues of how all this broke and then you will realize that knowledge is a wonderful thing!!!!

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    To the Idiot called Guess Who: I remind you that Williams is one of 2 politicians who DID NOT take the increase in constituency spending and he WAS NOT even remotely accused of overspending his allowance. I would like to remind you that the current governments' actions facilitated the discovery of this scandal when they allowed the AG BACK IN. Were it not for Williams deciding to run for office, BYRNE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FREAKIN' PREMIER!!!! I don't care what the Williams Family Trust does with their money. It belongs to the trust, not you or me. Your idiocy is compounded by demanding such a foolish thing! Comment on the article ffs, and say something that's not fueled by utter hatred and desperation, lol.
    Murray says he was paid, privately by a politician, to allow him to knowingly overspend public funds by an incredibly unignorable amount! There's your proof of a career civil servant and number 2 of 5 politicians to ultimately end up in the slammer. For the record, you haven't given me anything remotely close to proof yet. Rhetoric, innuendo, non-factual, and incomplete blurbs of misinformed slams, even when they have nothing to do with the article. Do you think Danny will take the stand? Now you guess who, lol.

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Walsh defense in a nutshell - 'I'm not to blame, blame them for not stopping me.'

  • Barry Hunt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Some days its impossible to tell who the bigger idiot is. Bones or the ones he refers too as idiots or Danny haters or tools. Ok its not all that difficult Bones is the bigger idiot. I do know what the Williams Family does with the money in the Trust and I DO CARE Bones. Its as big a scam as the constituency allowence mess. If you have no problem with that Bones thats your business. For those of us that do have a problem with it thats our business. According to you Bones every time something goes wrong Danny Williams rides in on his white stallion and saves the world. What kind of a half wit are you young man Bones? You have been given various forms of proof many many times by many many people and as usual you ignore it and talk around anything that tarnishes the Danny Halo. The only thing that actually surprises me in all this is that Danny hasent had his clone Jerome Kennedy try and shut the inquiry down like they did with Justice Cameron. Oh yes Jerome is finance minister now and Big Tom is back in justice. Its too far advanced into the courts for that to happen now. Come clean bones and tell everyone why you jump to Dannys defence every single day with your mindless blabber. I know the reason, Graham knows the reason, Guess who apparently knows the reason, many now know the reason. Are you ready to share that information with all of us Bones? Not bloody likely. You dont even have the guts to use your name. Then again your real name probably wouldnt surprise a lot of people anyway if they really knew who you were. Carry on your little games Bones. That too shall ened.

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Hard to tell here whether we're hearing from the Teflon Don (read John Gotti) or the Bill Murray in the movie Stripes.

  • the butler did it
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Hey Bone's, My father taught me those who swear in everyday conversations, are not smart enough to carry on an intelligent conversation. Williams did not take the money,but he did not put a stop to it either, which is just as bad or worse, if he is supposed to be playing the honest politician game. Ed Byrne would never have been Premier, period. The Williams Trust is a shell game to make it look like he is doing good, he still gets a huge tax credit, what is he doing with that. and his ex wife and kid run the foundation, now come on! Plus everything you have said is Rhetoric, innuendo, non-factual, and incomplete blurbs of misinformed slams, they are all still on trail and innocent until proven guilty, unlike PC Ed Byrne. And why would Danny take the stand, if he's not involved?

  • Guess who
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Well Mr Bones are we giveing you enough proof yet? Stay tuned. The best is yet to come. Remember the Williams Family Trust? Ever wonder where that money goes or how much actually goes anywhere? Some people dont care but most of us do. Stay tuned.

  • Mo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    You have to laugh at defence lawyer Avril Baker's terminology when describing her client's mental state....

    when my client was curled up in the fetal position in the Waterford Hospital .

    I suppose it is worth degrading your client if it helps keep him out of prison.

  • fu
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Most of us don't care guess who 80% approval remember. Danny had the books opened up in the first place. If it wasn't for him none of this would not have came to light.

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Bones, why waste your time responding to Guess Who? Apparently he only just began following this story or he would have known that only for Danny this corruption would still be going on!!! Guess Who why don't you go back and read issues of how all this broke and then you will realize that knowledge is a wonderful thing!!!!

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    To the Idiot called Guess Who: I remind you that Williams is one of 2 politicians who DID NOT take the increase in constituency spending and he WAS NOT even remotely accused of overspending his allowance. I would like to remind you that the current governments' actions facilitated the discovery of this scandal when they allowed the AG BACK IN. Were it not for Williams deciding to run for office, BYRNE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FREAKIN' PREMIER!!!! I don't care what the Williams Family Trust does with their money. It belongs to the trust, not you or me. Your idiocy is compounded by demanding such a foolish thing! Comment on the article ffs, and say something that's not fueled by utter hatred and desperation, lol.
    Murray says he was paid, privately by a politician, to allow him to knowingly overspend public funds by an incredibly unignorable amount! There's your proof of a career civil servant and number 2 of 5 politicians to ultimately end up in the slammer. For the record, you haven't given me anything remotely close to proof yet. Rhetoric, innuendo, non-factual, and incomplete blurbs of misinformed slams, even when they have nothing to do with the article. Do you think Danny will take the stand? Now you guess who, lol.

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Walsh defense in a nutshell - 'I'm not to blame, blame them for not stopping me.'

  • Barry Hunt
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Some days its impossible to tell who the bigger idiot is. Bones or the ones he refers too as idiots or Danny haters or tools. Ok its not all that difficult Bones is the bigger idiot. I do know what the Williams Family does with the money in the Trust and I DO CARE Bones. Its as big a scam as the constituency allowence mess. If you have no problem with that Bones thats your business. For those of us that do have a problem with it thats our business. According to you Bones every time something goes wrong Danny Williams rides in on his white stallion and saves the world. What kind of a half wit are you young man Bones? You have been given various forms of proof many many times by many many people and as usual you ignore it and talk around anything that tarnishes the Danny Halo. The only thing that actually surprises me in all this is that Danny hasent had his clone Jerome Kennedy try and shut the inquiry down like they did with Justice Cameron. Oh yes Jerome is finance minister now and Big Tom is back in justice. Its too far advanced into the courts for that to happen now. Come clean bones and tell everyone why you jump to Dannys defence every single day with your mindless blabber. I know the reason, Graham knows the reason, Guess who apparently knows the reason, many now know the reason. Are you ready to share that information with all of us Bones? Not bloody likely. You dont even have the guts to use your name. Then again your real name probably wouldnt surprise a lot of people anyway if they really knew who you were. Carry on your little games Bones. That too shall ened.

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Hard to tell here whether we're hearing from the Teflon Don (read John Gotti) or the Bill Murray in the movie Stripes.

  • the butler did it
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Hey Bone's, My father taught me those who swear in everyday conversations, are not smart enough to carry on an intelligent conversation. Williams did not take the money,but he did not put a stop to it either, which is just as bad or worse, if he is supposed to be playing the honest politician game. Ed Byrne would never have been Premier, period. The Williams Trust is a shell game to make it look like he is doing good, he still gets a huge tax credit, what is he doing with that. and his ex wife and kid run the foundation, now come on! Plus everything you have said is Rhetoric, innuendo, non-factual, and incomplete blurbs of misinformed slams, they are all still on trail and innocent until proven guilty, unlike PC Ed Byrne. And why would Danny take the stand, if he's not involved?

  • Guess who
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Well Mr Bones are we giveing you enough proof yet? Stay tuned. The best is yet to come. Remember the Williams Family Trust? Ever wonder where that money goes or how much actually goes anywhere? Some people dont care but most of us do. Stay tuned.

  • Mo
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    You have to laugh at defence lawyer Avril Baker's terminology when describing her client's mental state....

    when my client was curled up in the fetal position in the Waterford Hospital .

    I suppose it is worth degrading your client if it helps keep him out of prison.