OTTAWA — The RCMP closed another chapter in the long-running Senate expense saga Thursday by declaring they will not charge Sen. Pamela Wallin after an extensive criminal review of her travel claims.
The force made the long-awaited announcement in a terse statement, nearly three years after they first started looking at the Saskatchewan senator and nearly a month after the sensational dismissal of 31 criminal charges against Sen. Mike Duffy.
"The RCMP has completed its thorough investigation into Sen. Pamela Wallin's Senate expenses," said the statement from assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud.
Sen. Pamela Wallin leaves a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, Wednesday April 20, 2016 in Ottawa. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
"Following consultation with Crown counsel, the RCMP has determined that no criminal charges will be laid against Sen. Wallin and will be concluding its investigational file."
The Mounties have had a file open on the Saskatchewan senator since 2013 after a critical audit of her spending ended with her repaying some $150,000 — including interest — for claims the Senate said were unjustified.
Wallin, along with Duffy and Patrick Brazeau, was suspended without pay from the Senate in November 2013 over disallowed expenses.
'Nightmare' is over
She long maintained her innocence and argued she was being singled out for being an activist senator who rubbed some of her colleagues the wrong way.
Wallin said Thursday she was relieved that after three long years, her ""nightmare" is finally over.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper appointed Wallin to the Senate in 2009, but Wallin left the Conservative caucus at the height of the expense scandal in 2013.
Court documents filed as recently as January of last year spelled out Wallin's travel patterns in detail as investigators went in search of information from the various corporate boards on which Wallin used to sit.
Among the claims were 24 events Wallin attended in her capacity as a member of the boards of Porter Airlines and Gluskin Sheff.
Wallin's lawyer, Terrence O'Sullivan, said expense claims for those meetings were inadvertently submitted to the Senate, instead of to the companies, due an "administrative oversight."
Wallin explained all that to external auditors hired by the Senate to review her expenses and they concluded there had been no fraud, O'Sullivan said at the time.
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