Embattled Senator Raymond Lavigne has been found guilty of fraud related to his reimbursement for illegitimate travel claims worth $10,120.50. Lavigne was also found guilty of using public funds to pay one of his office employees to do work on his property. So far, it’s unclear how the verdict will effect Lavigne’s status in the Upper Chamber. Lavigne’s trial on fraud and other charges was the result of an investigation by the RCMP and the Senate after one of Lavigne’s staffers was found to be cutting trees on Lavigne’s property during working hours. A second former employee eventually came forward to say Lavigne would pocket part of the travel allowance claimed for the employee’s trips between Ottawa and Montreal. While he hasn’t sat in the Senate since he was charged, Lavigne continues to collect his $130,000 salary, plus travel and office expenses.
CLARIFICATION: Lavigne was originally identified in the above headline and article as a “Liberal senator.” Though Lavigne was named to the Senate as a Liberal after serving as a Liberal MP, he was suspended from the Liberal caucus in June 2006.