Carolyn Stewart Olsen and David Tkachuk, senators who were allegedly accused of plotting to guard colleague Mike Duffy by covering up his repayment of expenses, have disproved of the allegations. They were responding to a report by CTV News.
Wikimedia Commons/Ayelie Duffy has been accused of fraud.
Both senators are part of the committee that is in the process of reviewing improper claims of expenses by senators. The CTV News report accused Olsen and Tkachuk of putting pressure on Duffy to accept a secret cheque worth $90,000. The cheque was allegedly given by Nigel Wright, then chief of staff of the prime minister Stephen Harper. Duffy was then apparently expected to pretend that the money belonged to him.
Olsen and Tkachuk declared the news report as a false one. They stated in their emailed statement that they had no knowledge of Sen. Duffy accepting any payment from Wright until it was made public. Any report that suggested otherwise was a fabricated one, they added. Olsen and Tkachuk made their stance clear on the issue once more. They believed that Sen. Duffy must immediately repay the ineligible expenses.
The CTV News report mentioned that there were emails indicating Olsen and Tkachuk were consulted by Wright in order to pressurise Duffy to accept the cheque that would be used to repay his ineligible housing expenditure. Duffy was apparently reluctant to accept the same in the beginning. This happened during the independent audit which was implemented by a three-member committee that included Olsen and Tkachuk.
Later on, Duffy was assured of the safety of his seat by Wright, as reported in court documents. Another allegation marked that the audit committee would pose a lenient attitude for Duffy if he received the cheque. Angelo Persichilli, the prime minister's former director of communications, allegedly urged Duffey to accept the money as well. Interestingly, Persichilli informed CTV that it was a friendly advice to Duffy from his part.
Meanwhile, Mac Harb, who was also accused of similar fraud, resigned on Monday after repaying over $230,000. (Read full article HERE.)