Senator Pamela Wallin has plunged into a scandal that threatens both her reputation and the red chamber. An external audit has found that $138,970 of $532,508 in expenses Wallin billed to the Senate for travel were improper: it was deemed personal or related to Conservative party business.
Wallin has apologized publicly, saying there was no attempt to mislead. Late this afternoon, Wallin released a statement saying that she has “personally reimbursed” the Government of Canada with personal cheques amounting $100,600.98. (Wallin had previously repaid $38,000.)
“I welcome an independent and objective review by the RCMP and I intend to co-operate fully with any such review,” Wallin said in a statement. “I have not done anything wrong. I am not guilty of any misconduct. Accordingly I will not resign as a senator.”
For a woman whose work is her life, the total tally has been far higher: In May she was turfed from the Conservative caucus and now sits as an Independent alongside the disgraced Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau. The travel she can claim has been restricted and her file has been transferred to the RCMP for investigation. Wallin has stepped down from lucrative positions on corporate boards. (In 2012, she pulled in $68,202 in directors fees from Gluskin Sheff alone.) She has put her New York co-op on the market for $349,000, for less than she paid in 2005.
Many who bought into Pamela Wallin, the lucrative brand, have turned.
In this week’s cover story, Anne Kingston chronicles the senator’s high-flying life and explains why it came crashing down in a frenzy of backstabbing and bitterness. In the video below, the senior writer talks about just some of what she discovered during her investigation:
The magazine is now on stands. Watch for the digital version in an ebook coming later this fall.
- Related: Mike Duffy — King of the Hill