Joe Fontana testifies why expense claim was doctored

London mayor Joe Fontana is accompanied by his wife Vicky as he leaves the . DEREK RUTTAN/ The...

London mayor Joe Fontana is accompanied by his wife Vicky as he leaves the . DEREK RUTTAN/ The London Free Press /QMI AGENCY

Jane Sims, Patrick Maloney, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. — Former Liberal cabinet minister Joe Fontana, now mayor of London, Ont., says he was “stupid”, “busy” and “harried” — but the $1,700 cheque the Marconi Club received was never for his son's wedding.

Fontana, 64, took a grilling in the witness box Wednesday morning while trying to explain why he doctored up a Marconi Club contract that had been used for his son's wedding and submitted it to the House of Commons comptroller.

Fontana explained that the money was for an over-the-phone commitment he made to Marconi Club president Vince Trovato to book the hall for a reception for then-finance minister Ralph Goodale, who was coming to London on Feb. 26, 2005, to speak to London's Chamber of Commerce.

The reception never happened because of scheduling conflicts, but Fontana said he believed he had made a commitment to the club and needed to pay up.

Assistant Crown attorney Tim Zuber has been relentless in his questioning to why Fontana never bothered


Videos

Photos