Senate staffer sounded alarm on lax rules, was ignored: documents

OTTAWA — Documents filed at Mike Duffy’s trial show that a veteran Senate employee sounded the alarm about the lack of clear residency rules when dealing with living expenses, but was ignored by a Conservative-controlled committee.

Jill Anne Joseph, a senior audit adviser, told an RCMP investigator that she did a internal review in early 2013 of whether senators held four pieces of documentation from the province they represented.

The transcript of her interview has been filed in court as part of dispute between the Senate and Mike Duffy’s defence over the admissibility of Joseph’s internal review.

Joseph said that when she told a special Senate audit subcommittee headed by Conservative Beth Marshall that there was a lack of clear criteria around residency, her opinion was dismissed.

A few months later, another Senate committee chastised senators Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau for their living expense claims and the Prime Minister’s Office worked to get Duffy to repay $90,000 of his expenses.

The suspended senator is charged with 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery and has pleaded not guilty.

The Canadian Press

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