Aide's writing not on claims filed by Walsh

Rob Antle
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Justice

A former aide to MHA Jim Walsh did not fill out any of the last 46 constituency allowance claim forms filed by the politician in 2002 and 2003, provincial court heard Tuesday.

Jeff Ivany was on the stand in Walsh's corruption trial, which resumed after a five-week break.

Ivany testified that the handwriting on constituency claims filed by Walsh from April 2002 through November 2003 was not his.

Jeff Ivany

A former aide to MHA Jim Walsh did not fill out any of the last 46 constituency allowance claim forms filed by the politician in 2002 and 2003, provincial court heard Tuesday.

Jeff Ivany was on the stand in Walsh's corruption trial, which resumed after a five-week break.

Ivany testified that the handwriting on constituency claims filed by Walsh from April 2002 through November 2003 was not his.

The revelation could be damaging for the defence.

In previous testimony, former House of Assembly director of finance Bill Murray said he filled out those forms for Walsh.

Murray is the central figure in the spending scandal, facing criminal charges of his own.

The Crown contends that Walsh bribed Murray to process excess claims. The defence denies the allegation.

In a 2007 videotaped interview with police, Walsh had highlighted the role of his staff - namely, Ivany - in preparing his claims.

But Ivany's handwriting is not on the last 18 months' worth of forms used to generate payments.

That period coincided with a spike in excess cash being disbursed to Walsh from his constituency account.

Walsh's spending limit for that period was $61,000, plus HST.

The MHA received more than $200,000. The cash went into his bank account.

Ivany testified Tuesday he was "completely surprised" his handwriting was not on many of the claim forms.

The former aide insisted he filled out constituency claims for Walsh from early 2001 until early 2003, when he got a promotion to a higher-ranking job in the office.

Ivany said a new assistant, Lisa Somerton, would have filled out the constituency forms from early 2003 onward.

But Somerton testified she never filled out any expense claims for Walsh.

Meanwhile, Ivany supported defence assertions that Walsh had checked to make sure he wasn't overspending his allowance.

Ivany said he did so twice, at Walsh's request, and was told his boss hadn't breached any limits.

The former assistant said he assumed there was an appropriate level of scrutiny over claims at the House of Assembly.

Asked by defence lawyer Vernon French to describe his reaction towards officials at the legislature after the spending scandal broke, Ivany said, "A breach of trust. You felt kind of violated. It was my reputation as well."

Walsh - a former Liberal MHA and cabinet minister - 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.

Former House Speaker Lloyd Snow is the next scheduled witness when court resumes this morning.

rantle@thetelegram.com

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments