September 29, 2016 - 8:28 AM
OTTAWA - The Senate committee that polices spending in the upper chamber will soon decide whether it is worth the cost to sue seven former senators
The Senate has threatened to take the seven to court in a bid to recoup more than $528,000 the auditor general deemed to have been improperly expensed to taxpayers.
Among the expenses are travel, hospitality and housing claims that the other 23 senators named in the 2015 report from Michael Ferguson subsequently paid back.
The committee was told today that outside lawyers are finalizing the statements of claim against each of the seven and will also provide the committee with a cost breakdown to see if the legal costs would outweigh the money that could be recouped.
One case would involve the estate of the late Rod Zimmer, whose $176,000 bill was the highest total flagged in Ferguson's audit.
The Senate's law clerk says there is no timeline for a decision.
Senators were told the RCMP has closed files on all 30 senators named in Ferguson's audit and won't pursue any criminal investigations any.
Ferguson’s audit identified almost $1 million in problematic expenses that should be repaid, detailed a litany of oversight issues in how the Senate managed expense claims and called for “transformative change” to fix systemic problems in the upper chamber.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016