POLITICS

Patrick Brazeau's Senate Bill Climbing With No Plans To Recoup

02/12/2015 05:29 EST | Updated 04/14/2015 05:59 EDT
CP
The Senate currently has no plan to recover any of the money it says it is owed by now-suspended senator Patrick Brazeau, CBC News has learned.

Brazeau was charged by the RCMP last February with one count of fraud and one count of breach of trust in relation to inappropriately claimed housing and living expenses.

The Senate committee on internal economy found Brazeau had wrongly claimed $48,745.

Until Brazeau was suspended, the Senate was able to garnishee his salary up to 20 per cent per paycheque, meaning $4,533 was recovered.

But the amount is also subject to interest, meaning the initial amount owing has now climbed to $50,140.

Brazeau was suspended without pay from the Senate in November, 2013 along with fellow former Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Pam Wallin, which meant there was no clear way to force him to pay the money back.

Sources tell CBC News no other repayments have been made by Brazeau since then and the Senate has no plans on how to recoup the money either.

4 sanctioned over expenses

The Senate report alleged Brazeau was wrongly claiming expenses for a residence in Ottawa, while insisting his primary residence was in Maniwaki, Que.

An audit by Deloitte determined that Brazeau had only spent 10 per cent of his time there over an 18-month period. But it also showed Brazeau fulfilled all four criteria for declaring it as his primary residence set by the Senate: a provincial health card, driver's license, tax records and voting registration.

Brazeau has long vowed he did nothing wrong and is determined the fight the charges against him. He did not respond to messages from CBC News asking for comment.

Duffy and Wallin have repaid their amounts owing in full, as has former Liberal senator Mac Harb, who retired after the Senate committee ordered him to repay living and travel expenses.

Brazeau’s court case on the charges relating to the Senate expenses is scheduled for pre-trial hearings June 1.

Harb is also facing charges on fraud and breach of trust. His trial is scheduled to begin in August. Duffy's trial on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust begins in April. Wallin has not been charged.

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Senator Patrick Brazeau