Duffy-Wright Deal: PMO Pays $10K In Legal Fees For Former Staffer

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NIGEL WRIGHT CONFLICT OF INTEREST
David Van Hemmen, Nigel Wright's former executive assistant, had his RCMP investigation-related legal fees paid by the Prime Minister's Office. | CP

The government has spent $10,500 to cover legal fees for David Van Hemmen, a former staffer in the Prime Minister's Office, in relation to the RCMP investigation into a payment from former chief of staff Nigel Wright to Senator Mike Duffy.

Confirmation of the payment to Ottawa law firm Carroll and Wallace was included in a sheaf of documents tabled in the House on Monday in response to a written question from New Democrat ethics critic Charlie Angus on the government's use of outside legal firms.

The amount is listed in the response with the note "RCMP investigation - payment by Nigel Wright to Senator Mike Duffy."

Van Hemmen served as Wright's executive assistant throughout the negotiations with the embattled senator to repay his ineligible expense claims. Van Hemmen is mentioned in several emails filed in court by the RCMP last year.

He now works as a policy adviser in the office of Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly denied that his office is under investigation.

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