OTTAWA – Sen. Mike Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, held a news conference Monday to lay out his client’s version of events in the Senate spending scandal. Here’s five interesting allegations that emerged:
1. Government Senate leader Marjory LeBreton allegedly told Duffy in a letter that residency is not clearly defined in the Senate’s rules. Duffy had been checking out whether his P.E.I. home could be considered his primary residence — the issue that sparked the housing expenses controversy in the first place.
2. Nigel Wright, the prime minister’s former chief of staff, allegedly told Duffy in an email last December that he had not broken any rules in relation to his housing expenses. A few months later, Wright would give Duffy a $90,000 cheque to repay those expenses.
3. Duffy’s lawyers allegedly dealt with a lawyer at the Prime Minister’s Office on the issue of his expenses; Bayne would not provide a name. Former PMO lawyer Benjamin Perrin has said he was not consulted on — nor did he participate in — Wright’s payment to Duffy.
4. Chris Woodcock, Harper’s former director of issues management, was allegedly copied on a February email from Duffy to his lawyer, in which Duffy describes a conversation he had with Wright the night before.
5. Duffy blames mistakes in travel expense claims made while campaigning for the Conservatives during the 2011 election on an employee who was allegedly filling out his forms during her maternity leave, and suffering from postpartum depression. Bayne said Duffy was not aware that she was making the erroneous claims, although he later signed off on them.