By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Patrick Brazeau, Mac Harb charged by RCMP
Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau and retired senator Mac Harb have been formally charged by the RCMP with one count each of fraud and breach of trust related to inappropriate Senate expense claims.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud announced the charges at a news conference at about 11:10 am ET Tuesday.
“The RCMP has proceeded to charge Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Harb with one count each of breach of trust and fraud under sections 122 and 380 of the Criminal Code, ” Michaud said. “Both Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Harb will be appearing in court at a later date.”
The Mounties allege Brazeau and Harb defrauded taxpayers by claiming travel and living expenses to which they were not entitled.
Brazeau was suspended from the Senate in October along with onetime fellow Conservative Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin. The three former Conservatives were suspended without pay following an outside audit of their expenses.
Harb, who was a Liberal senator until his spending came under scrutiny through an external audit, retired in August after paying back $231,000.
Both Brazeau and Harb, along with Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, were subject to a lengthy Senate investigation of their expenses claims and living allowances.
A Senate committee determined each of the four had claimed tens of thousands of dollars in expenses that they were not entitled to.
The Senate then passed its files to the RCMP.
The charges expected Tuesday against Brazeau and Harb are the first to flow from the RCMP’s own lengthy investigation of the spending scandal, underway since May 2013. (Source: CBC News)