WATCH: Global News has obtained copies of the draft audits of Mike Duffy’s spending. Mike Le Couteur shows us what was left out in the final version.
OTTAWA – A Conservative-dominated Senate committee changed a report into Senator Mike Duffy’s expense claims at least seven times, documents obtained by Global News reveal.
The confidential drafts reveal for the first time the extent of the changes on the May 9, 2013 Senate report into the expenses of the now-suspended former Conservative senator.
At the time, the Senate subcommittee on internal economy, budgets and administration comprised of two Tory senators – David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen – and Liberal Sen. George Furey.
The report was based on the findings of a Deloitte audit into Duffy’s expense. The audit said the senator, who claimed living expenses for his Ottawa home, spent about 30 per cent of his time in Prince Edward Island. But it also determined the criteria for primary residence are lacking.
The RCMP has suggested in court transcripts that Tkachuk and Olsen altered the reports with the help of the Prime Minister’s Office after Duffy repaid $90,000, later revealed to have been with former chief of staff Nigel Wright’s money.
The drafts reveal how significant criticisms about Duffy’s expense claims were removed, including details about Duffy’s travel patterns from Ottawa to Prince Edward Island and back, demonstrating that “Ottawa was his primary or default location.”
It also took out a description of travel and residency guidelines from June 2012.
The final report also removed a reference to the fact that although Duffy owns a place in PEI, his “continued presence at his Ottawa residence over the years does not support such a declaration and is contrary to the plain meaning of the word ‘primary’ and to the purpose of the provision of living allowance in the (NCR) National Capital Region.”
The documents were filed Friday by Duffy’s defence as part of an application to have an internal report about Senate living expenses used as evidence in his trial. The Senate is arguing the report is protected by Parliamentary privilege.
Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery. His trial resumes after a three-week break on June 1.
Below are three examples of the drafts:
The first and final drafts:
The fifth draft: