Murray says he's sorry

Rob Antle
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Former bureaucrat issues court-mandated apology

Bill Murray says he is sorry. "I would like to apologize to the people of this province for my part in the House of Assembly spending scandal," Murray said in a statement issued this week.

"I take full responsibility for my actions in this matter. I blame nobody but myself for the bad choices and decisions that I made."

Bill Murray

Bill Murray says he is sorry. "I would like to apologize to the people of this province for my part in the House of Assembly spending scandal," Murray said in a statement issued this week.

"I take full responsibility for my actions in this matter. I blame nobody but myself for the bad choices and decisions that I made."

The House of Assembly's former director of financial operations issued the statement to The Telegram via family members.

The apology was a condition of Murray's sentence imposed by Supreme Court Justice Robert Fowler.

In January, Murray pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of accepting bribes.

The charges related to his job as holder of the purse strings for MHA expense accounts at the House of Assembly.

Murray admitted to accepting kickbacks from MHAs, falsifying House financial reports and helping funnel as much as $2.3 million in fraudulent payments to three companies that sold baubles and trinkets.

He was sentenced on Feb. 22.

Fowler accepted a joint submission by the Crown and defence lawyers in handing down a two-year jail term to Murray, followed by two years' probation. The judge also ordered Murray to pay restitution of $177,000.

Somewhat unusually, Fowler also directed Murray to write a full letter of apology to the people of the province, to be published in a provincewide newspaper.

Fowler said at the time the decision may be perceived as "trite," but is meant to "send a powerful message to the public."

Four former MHAs have all served jail time after convictions on corruption charges related to their taxpayer-funded constituency allowance accounts.

None of the politicians - Randy Collins, Jim Walsh, Ed Byrne and Wally Andersen - were required to issue a public apology.

Murray is serving a two-year federal sentence.

The defence agreed to the federal time in order to provide Murray with better access to counselling and treatment during his incarceration.

Murray acknowledged battling a video-lottery terminal addiction that reached $500 a day while he was defrauding the government.

He is eligible for parole in August.

A sixth person implicated in the House spending scandal - St. John's businessman John Hand - has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced the same month.

The scandal sparked a judicial review and sweeping changes to the management of the House of Assembly.

The auditor general initially uncovered shady financial dealings at the House in 2006.

A subsequent police probe, dubbed Operation Radius, led to a raft of criminal charges.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    This is exactly why Sheila Fraser, Canada's Auditor-General, needs to look at the expenses of Canada's MPs and Senators. After all, it is our money they are spending.
    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

  • Leslie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Make no wonder ppl call us Dumb Newfies . We are constantly voting in the worse of the worse when it come to most of our politicians...Somebody should start writing a book about all of these crooks and maybe that might embarass the next bunch of politicians to think before they get away with ripping off us Dumb Newfies!!

  • tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Another Newfie Joke, Bill apologized Thank you Justice Fowler you really pushed the envelope on this one and opened up a new form of penance,Its meant to send a very strong message to the public????

    Now can we send a strong message to the elected memebers? Or the judiciary.

  • Bones
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Apology not accepted. You've left a nice legacy. You have worked hard and took a lot of risks to get where you are today. History will have a special place for yours and the names of your partners in a crime ... against an entire province of people. You may take some comfort in knowing this province is not the only one. In fact, our Country doesn't even stand alone.

  • dee gee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Now Bill you write fifty lines now to say how sorry you are. What a joke just like you'd give an elementary kid, but than again aren't a lot of these politicians like youngsters when they're sitting in the house? Never ceases to amaze me what they get and what most of them get away with. LOL

  • taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    you are really really sorry,.......after you get caught.

  • Ron
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I don't know why they call these people
    honorable members.If anyone else robbed from the people of NFLD and Labrador they would be called crooks.What is so honorable about them.
    Murray is only sorry he got caught.

  • Another Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Stand up and be counted. Yes, Mr. Murray is sorry, but the truth be known he's sorry he got caught. If he wasn't caught, would he be going to jail today because he told on himself ??? How many others are there who are still waiting to see if they are going to be sorry. They definately won't be coming forward themselves, and that's a given.

  • henry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    i bet my bottom dollar , an apology would never be given if the judge didnt order it ,, he will get out and start the same old stufff over .. what a sham ...

  • grant
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    The judge ordered Bill to give an apology as part of his huge sentence, compaired to the politicans, they dont have to give one. Bills sentence was a sentence of two years plus a day, compaired to a few months for the poor inocent politicans. newfoundland courts are famous for this. poor Bill.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Why don't the ''honourable members'' who were convicted in the same scandal, voluntarily issue a public apology as well?

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    This is exactly why Sheila Fraser, Canada's Auditor-General, needs to look at the expenses of Canada's MPs and Senators. After all, it is our money they are spending.
    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

  • Leslie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Make no wonder ppl call us Dumb Newfies . We are constantly voting in the worse of the worse when it come to most of our politicians...Somebody should start writing a book about all of these crooks and maybe that might embarass the next bunch of politicians to think before they get away with ripping off us Dumb Newfies!!

  • tom
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Another Newfie Joke, Bill apologized Thank you Justice Fowler you really pushed the envelope on this one and opened up a new form of penance,Its meant to send a very strong message to the public????

    Now can we send a strong message to the elected memebers? Or the judiciary.

  • Bones
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Apology not accepted. You've left a nice legacy. You have worked hard and took a lot of risks to get where you are today. History will have a special place for yours and the names of your partners in a crime ... against an entire province of people. You may take some comfort in knowing this province is not the only one. In fact, our Country doesn't even stand alone.

  • dee gee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Now Bill you write fifty lines now to say how sorry you are. What a joke just like you'd give an elementary kid, but than again aren't a lot of these politicians like youngsters when they're sitting in the house? Never ceases to amaze me what they get and what most of them get away with. LOL

  • taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    you are really really sorry,.......after you get caught.

  • Ron
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I don't know why they call these people
    honorable members.If anyone else robbed from the people of NFLD and Labrador they would be called crooks.What is so honorable about them.
    Murray is only sorry he got caught.

  • Another Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Stand up and be counted. Yes, Mr. Murray is sorry, but the truth be known he's sorry he got caught. If he wasn't caught, would he be going to jail today because he told on himself ??? How many others are there who are still waiting to see if they are going to be sorry. They definately won't be coming forward themselves, and that's a given.

  • henry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    i bet my bottom dollar , an apology would never be given if the judge didnt order it ,, he will get out and start the same old stufff over .. what a sham ...

  • grant
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    The judge ordered Bill to give an apology as part of his huge sentence, compaired to the politicans, they dont have to give one. Bills sentence was a sentence of two years plus a day, compaired to a few months for the poor inocent politicans. newfoundland courts are famous for this. poor Bill.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Why don't the ''honourable members'' who were convicted in the same scandal, voluntarily issue a public apology as well?