RCMP: Pamela Wallin 'defrauded' the Senate

Senator Pamela Wallin arrives to address the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 25, 2013. ...

Senator Pamela Wallin arrives to address the Senate on Parliament Hill in Ottawa October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Jessica Murphy, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

OTTAWA - Sen. Pamela Wallin was warned as far back as 2009 that her Senate expenses were raising red flags, according to new police documents.

But it was only after her former executive assistant, Alison Stodin, blew the whistle to Sen. Carolyn Stewart-Olsen that the Senate's internal auditing department began to review her expense claims in earnest.

The allegations are contained in an RCMP information to obtain a production order filed in federal court Oct. 28.

In those documents, RCMP Const. Michael Johnson says the force has reason to believe Wallin committed fraud and breach of trust by filing inappropriate travel and housing claims between January 2009 and September 2012.

In the course of their investigation, RCMP investigators were told members of Senate's internal finance department warned Wallin in 2009, 2011, and 2012 about "travel irregularities" related to stopovers at her Toronto condo.

The Senate's internal auditors launched their own review of her travel expenses in early 2012. That was expanded in August 2012 after Stodin voiced her concerns, and later referred to external auditors.

The RCMP is seeking a slew of related records as part of its investigation, which was launched after the Senate referred Wallin's Deloitte audit to them in August.

That audit revealed $121,000 in inappropriate expenses.

Wallin has repaid some $150,000 in travel expenses, including interest, disallowed by the Senate.

Still, the former broadcaster has repeatedly called the audit process "flawed and unfair" and denies any wrongdoing.

Johnson, however, believes Deloitte's audit was "unbiased."

Wallin has also claimed she's the victim of "personal vendettas" by Stewart-Olsen and Sen. Marjory LeBreton.

According to the documents, LeBreton told RCMP investigators in September that while she "feels that Sen. Wallin has a sense of entitlement (she) does not believe that Sen. Wallin has committed any criminal offence and does not feel that Sen. Wallin tried to scam the system."

Wallin's lawyer, Terrence O'Sullivan, said his client will comply with the investigation and believes her name will eventually be cleared.

"We are confident at the end of this process it will be seen there was no attempt to commit any sort of fraud," he said Friday.

Wallin is the latest in a wayward troop of senators being scrutinized by the Mounties over dubious spending claims.

Senators Patrick Brazeau and Mike Duffy are under RCMP investigation for similar charges. Retired senator Mac Harb is also the subject of a criminal breach of trust probe.

In all the cases, no charges have been laid and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Wallin, Brazeau and Duffy also face being suspended without pay from the Senate, but may be allowed to keep their life and health insurance benefits.

A vote is expected to be held in the upper chamber on the Conservative government's suspension motion early next week.


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