MLA expense probe widens - Metro US

MLA expense probe widens

Another former MLA is being investigated by the RCMP.

Auditor general Jacques Lapointe sent another suspected case of questionable expense claims to the RCMP Monday.

As with the other five, Lapointe is not releasing any names because it is a police matter.

According to a release sent out Thursday, the Speaker’s Office contacted Lapointe May 20 with evidence of “possible illegalities in expense claims for a former member of the House of Assembly.”

In an interview, Lapointe said it wasn’t something his office missed but new information on a former MLA.

“We didn’t have the information at the time. People come forward with things and there’s no way we could have had this before,” Lapointe said.

He added there’s always a chance another case may be sent to police but it’s unlikely.

Lapointe’s office reviewed the evidence before passing it on to the RCMP.

Speaker Charlie Parker told the CBC Thursday a private citizen filed the initial complaint with his office, and it was then passed on to Lapointe.

One current and four former MLAs are being investigated for possible fraud because of the expense scandal. All three parties insist none of their sitting MLAs are being investigated. Independent Dartmouth North MLA Trevor Zinck will not comment.

Liberal Kelly Regan recently told the CBC she was asked questions about MLA Len Goucher, who held the Bedford-Birch Cove seat before her.

Since the scandal broke in February, two MLAs — Progressive Conservative Richard Hurlburt and Liberal Dave Wilson — have stepped down.

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