Years of political scandal, investigations, and sensational Maclean's covers ended on a somewhat flat note Thursday when Senator Mike Duffy was fully acquitted of the 31 spending scandal-related charges against him.
Duffy, 69, you'll barely recall, came under fire in 2012, when he was accused of abusing his privileges as a senator by claiming housing and travel expenses based on the premise that he worked in Ottawa, away from his home in PEI. However, an audit revealed that he had in fact been living in Ottawa for decades while claiming his PEI summer cottage was his primary residence. There were also a clusterfuck of other allegations that sounded pretty shady (dude was charging taxpayers for funerals he attended), compounded by the fact that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff Nigel Wright issued a $90,000 cheque to cover some of Duffy's seemingly improper expenses. Duffy claimed he was innocent of wrongdoing but eventually the RCMP charged him with 31 offences including fraud and breach of trust.
It was all very salacious by boring Canadian standards, throwing Harper's crew under scrutiny and igniting a debate about why the fuck we still have a senate. (Lol to the Liberals for booting all their senators from caucus.)
But basically, none of it matters, because Thursday, Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt said Duffy is "an overall credible witness" and that his expenses weren't suspect at all, given the vague rules senators were given at the time.
For what it's worth (read: nothing because the reigning Conservative government was swept out of power by the internet's boyfriend, Justin Trudeau), the judge was highly critical of the Prime Minister's Office during the Harper regime, asking, "Could Hollywood match their deviousness?"
Duffy is currently on a leave of absence and seeing as how he's innocent, could be back in the senate spending our tax dollars again ASAP.
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