Duffy's Lawyer Calls Senate Payment Order 'Petty'

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OTTAWA — Mike Duffy is being asked to repay $16,955 in what a Senate committee considers ineligible expenses, despite the controversial senator having been acquitted earlier this year of a raft of charges related to his spending claims.

In a June 8 letter, the clerk of the Senate's internal economy committee says "new information had surfaced in the public domain'' which warranted an assessment of the eligibility of some expenses.

The letter cites seven specific expenses, ranging from $10,000 for a personal trainer to $8 for personal photos — both of which came up during Duffy's high-profile trial.

The letter gives Duffy 10 days to "provide observations or information that could establish the eligibility of the expenses.''

'A further compounding of injustice'

Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne says his client has been "fully exonerated'' on the seven expenses in question, calling the Senate's persistence "a further compounding of injustice upon injustice, and should be stopped.''

Bayne wrote that the investigation cost Duffy a net loss of $155,867 and that seeking $8 for personal photos now is "unseemly in the extreme'' and "smacks of petty vindictiveness.''

A letter from Duffy's office accuses the committee of refusing to accept the court's judgment and describes the Senate's actions as a "collateral attack'' on Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt.

Duffy pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery and was cleared of all charges in April, with the Crown later saying it would not appeal the verdict.

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