OTTAWA — Sen. Patrick Brazeau was granted an unconditional discharge Wednesday after entering a guilty plea last month on drug possession and assault charges, although he still faces a criminal trial next year for fraud and breach of trust arising from his Senate expenses.
He's one of a handful of senators who have run afoul of the law, or come under the critical gaze of the police. Here is a sample of some of those who have recently been in trouble, or find themselves still in it:
Raymond Lavigne: The former Liberal senator was convicted in 2011 for breach of trust after filing phoney expense claims totalling more than $10,000. Lavigne overcharged the Senate for trips a staffer made and had his office assistant cut down trees on his property during working hours. Lavigne was sentenced to six months in jail and six months under house arrest.
Mike Duffy: The former Conservative senator was charged one year ago with 31 criminal counts, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery. All the charges stem from his Senate expenses and a $90,000 payment he received from Stephen Harper's then chief of staff. Duffy is currently suspended with pay under Senate rules. Duffy's trial resumes Nov. 19. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Mac Harb: The former Liberal and Ottawa senator retired from the Senate after repaying $231,000 in questionable housing expenses. RCMP court documents allege Harb lived primarily at his secondary residence, which he charged the Senate for, and that the home he listed as his primary residence was for a period of time uninhabitable. Harb's trial for fraud and breach of trust charges begins in spring 2016. Harb has denied any wrongdoing.
Pamela Wallin: The former Conservative senator repaid the Senate about $150,000 in questionable travel expenses. The RCMP have alleged in court documents that Wallin charged the Senate for travel expenses that were for personal reasons or part of her private business interests. Wallin has not been charged with any crime, nor have any of the allegations against her been proven in court. She is back on the job after a two-year suspension without pay and has denied any wrongdoing.
Don Meredith: The former Conservative senator is being investigated over published allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl, who is now 18. The Toronto Star report said the woman had sexually explicit online chats with Meredith and that the relationship progressed to kissing and touching before she turned 18. She said the pair had intercourse twice after she turned 18 before the 50-year-old Meredith, a married Pentecostal minister who is a father of two, broke off the relationship earlier this year. Meredith has not commented publicly on the allegations. However, through a lawyer retained after the Star story was published, Meredith said he fully intends to respect the internal procedures of the Senate.
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu: The former Conservative had his file handed over to the RCMP for criminal review after the auditor general identified problematic expense claims. The auditor general's report raised questions about Boisvenu's claims to a secondary residence in 2012, travel claims that included events and interviews for his victims of crime foundation. Boisvenu is challenging the findings that he owes the Senate $60,914. He was also forced to apologize to the Senate in 2014 after an ethics review found he had hired a women he was romantically involved with and tried to get her job perks. Boisvenu has denied any wrongdoing.
Colin Kenny: The long-time Liberal who was appointed by Pierre Trudeau in 1984 is facing an RCMP review following the auditor general's report on Senate spending. Auditors flagged $35,549 in travel expenses for which Kenny filed insufficient, or conflicting documentation, and that some trips appeared more for personal reasons than parliamentary. Kenny has repaid $3,535 and is challenging the remaining bill of $32,013.
Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: The auditor general's report said the retired Liberal senator from New Brunswick owes $110,051. Most of that was for housing claims against a home in Gatineau, Que., that auditors said was her primary home and not the one in Moncton, N.B. There were also questions about her travel claims. Her file was given to the RCMP in June. She denies she has done anything wrong.
Rod Zimmer: The retired Liberal senator from Manitoba faces a bill of $176,014 after the auditor general's report raised questions about Zimmer's housing claims — that he lived primarily in Ottawa and not Winnipeg, his travel claims and contracts that he handed out through his Senate office. Zimmer had his file handed over to the RCMP in June. He denies he did anything wrong.
The Canadian Press