OTTAWA – Conservative Senator Mike Duffy has resigned from the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent amid a furious controversy over his expense claims.
Only a week ago, the Conservative government was hailing Duffy’s leadership for repaying the $90,000 in housing allowances the Senate said he owed.
Now a government official says there are a growing number of questions about Duffy’s conduct that don’t have answers.
The imbroglio ensnared Stephen Harper’s highest-ranking adviser after it came to light that the prime minister’s chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote a personal cheque to Duffy to cover the bill.
The gesture was described as a gift from a friend, but the payment raised a host of new questions about the ethics of giving a senator such a large sum and whether the payment was meant to put a lid on the affair.
After Duffy paid the $90,000 in March, he stopped participating in an independent audit of his expense.
The Conservative government declared the matter closed and calls to make public the details of Duffy’s expenses are being ignored.