POLITICS

Spending scandal case against Independent member adjourned until August

07/19/2012 09:00 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia politician charged in the province's legislative spending scandal continues to maintain he did nothing wrong, his lawyer said Thursday after the matter was adjourned until the end of August.

Independent member Trevor Zinck is charged with theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

Lawyer Lyle Howe appeared on Zinck's behalf in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, where the case was set over until Aug. 31 for a pre-trial conference and Sept. 6 to set trial dates.

"He stands by his innocence," Howe said outside court. "He's confident moving forward."

Neither Zinck nor Crown lawyer Andrew Macdonald would speculate how long a trial might last.

Zinck is one of four provincial politicians charged in February 2011 following an investigation into constituency allowance spending.

Former Tory cabinet minister Richard Hurlburt will be sentenced next week after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the public purse of more than $25,000.

Dave Wilson, a former Liberal member, was sentenced earlier this year to nine months in jail for spending nearly $61,000 in public money to feed a gambling addiction.

Former Liberal Russell MacKinnon has pleaded not guilty to fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents, and his trial is set to begin next year.