05/22/2013 05:14 EDT | Updated 07/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Wallin Refuses To Answer Questions About Repaying Expenses

Speaking as an independent Saskatchewan senator for the first time, Pamela Wallin is not answering any questions about whether or not she has repaid expense money.

On Friday, Wallin recused herself from the Conservative caucus, saying she made that decision because an accounting firm's review of her expenses was taking longer than expected.

Wallin, a former journalist with CBC and CTV who since 2009 has represented Saskatchewan in the Senate, has claimed about $321,000 in travel expenses since September 2010 that are the subject of the audit.

Wallin now sits as an independent, along with Mike Duffy, who announced his resignation from the Conservative caucus a day before she did.

Duffy's departure came after it was learned that he secretly received a $90,000 cheque from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff Nigel Wright to repay expenses.

The Duffy controversy has dominated the headlines in recent days, leaving Wallin's case, relatively speaking, out of the limelight.

Today, when CBC asked Wallin via email whether or not she has paid back any money, she did not address the question.

"I have been fully cooperating with the auditors and my office is working hard to ensure every question is answered and every possible document is provided to them," Wallin replied in an email.

"So when that process is complete, I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have."

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