Parties say their MLAs are in the clear

All three political parties insist no one in their caucus is the sitting MLA police are investigating for alleged illegal acts.

All three political parties insist no one in their caucus is the sitting MLA police are investigating for alleged illegal acts.

Premier Darrell Dexter and both opposition leaders say they’ve spoken to their members and no one has reported being asked any extra questions by the auditor general’s staff.

They’re also all in agreement that if a member of their caucus was under investigation they would be immediately booted out.

The only MLA who is not a member of a political party is Dartmouth North’s Trevor Zinck, who was booted from the NDP in March.

Zinck wouldn’t speak to reporters yesterday. He said he was too busy meeting with constituents to talk to journalists who showed up at his office. Phone calls were not returned.

Zinck was being investigated by auditor general Jacques Lapointe after the NDP kicked him out of caucus and gave Lapointe some of Zinck’s expense claims that they found troubling. But Lapointe wouldn’t say whether Zinck was one of five names handed to police.

The only other person Lapointe was conclusively known to be investigating is Glace Bay MLA Dave Wilson.

Dexter said yesterday he was disappointed to hear his colleagues may have been involved in criminal acts.

“It is just clearly disappointing that, in these kinds of circumstances, that there is the potential of five people I served with in the House of Assembly who are potentially under investigation,” Dexter told reporters.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil took issue with Lapointe’s choice not to officially notify the MLAs he was handing their files over to police.

“I’m extremely surprised that the auditor didn’t even have the courtesy to call those members before those files were being referred. It’s five phone calls,” said McNeil.

“It would be human decency.”

If an MLA is convicted of a crime with a maximum sentence of more than five years in prison, that person would be automatically turfed from the legislature. Short of that, it would take a legislative motion to force someone out.

 
 
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