This one is for $65,000 for doing nothing
Another Duffy scandal leads right to the Prime Minister.
The Mounties made fraud and breach of trust allegations against Senator Mike Duffy this week.
They allege that the senator gave $ 65,000 over four years to his old friend Gerald Donohue in a series of bogus contracts invoiced to the Senate.
Donohue, a former television technician is owner of a cement block firm. The Mounties say in their court deposition that he did no work or almost no work for Duffy, in return for the $65,000. So why was he paid?
Duffy led the Senate to believe that Donohue had written speech speeches for him, monitored media for him, developed a web page for him, and discussed obesity with him. For all this the Senate paid him $200 an hour.
Little or nothing of this work was true, the Mounties wrote in a court document they filed so a judge would give them access to the Duffy and Donohue bank accounts.
The Mounties say that Donohue told them he had never set foot in Senator Duffy’s office.
Donahue said he had not produced any reports for Duffy, nor ever written anything for him, and never worked on the senator's website. But they may have discussed obesity together, he admitted.
Donahue told the Mounties that he had been a television technician most of his life, and had no experience as a consultant.
It was during the Mounties’ investigation of the $ 90 000 that Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright mysteriously gave Duffy earlier this year that RCMP Corporal Greg Horton discovered a series of payments to Gerald Donahue.
Donahue swore to police that he had not pocketed a single penny out of the $65,000 the Senate paid him. Everything went into the company account of his firm, Maple Ridge Media, which subsequently changed its name and was registered in the name of his wife.
Police investigators went to the company’s bank account to find out how much was in the account.
Surprise! They found no money at all. Not a cent. Where did all that money go? Donahue said he has no idea. It’s a mystery to him too. As for his wife, she refused to provide explanations to the police.
It was at this point that the investigators went to ask Nigel Wright if he could tell them where the money might have gone.
Wright said he didn’t know either. He said he certainly doesn’t have it.
It was at this time that Wright admitted to them there are a great many documents on the Duffy case. Wright handed the Mounties hundreds of copies of e-mails between him and Duffy.
The Mounties realized they had hit the mother lode.
There is a problem. A few months ago Stephen Harper stood up in Parliament and assured everyone that he had looked around his office carefully and questioned his staff and he was sure no documents related to the Wright and Duffy business exist.
The pile of e-mails in RCMP hands proves documents do exist. So what Harper told Parliament wasn’t true. There are documents. The Mounties have them. They even have Duffy’s redacted electronic agenda book.
What does that mean? Did everyone in Harper's office lie to Harper? Did they deliberately mislead him? Did they all want him to stand up in the Commons and tell everyone something that was patently untrue?
So what is Harper’s explanation? Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair says that only when Harper is hauled into court and forced to testify will we have an idea where the money went, and perhaps too why Harper wasn’t telling the truth when he told the Commons there were no documents.