Sen. Mike Duffy, recently acquitted of 31 charges including bribery, fraud and breach of trust, has returned to Parliament Hill.
Duffy was spotted by reporters as he parked his car near Centre Block on Monday morning around 11:30 a.m. and walked into the building. He made no comment.
Duffy is expected to be back in his seat in the Red Chamber on Tuesday as the Senate resumes sitting. His presence on the Hill on Monday may have been to set up his office and take care of administrative tasks before returning to the job.
A woman in Sen. Duffy’s office answered the door and said he is not doing any interviews, then closed it again. When a reporter ran into Duffy in the cafeteria, he said he was on the Hill “to work, please respect my privacy.”
Heading into a committee meeting, Conservative Sen. Vern White was asked about Duffy’s return, and made a blunt statement.
“I don’t have to like everyone I work with,” White said. “I don’t have to be friends with everyone I work with. I didn’t have friendship (with Duffy) before, I won’t have one now.”
WATCH: Sen. Mike Duffy, recently acquitted of 31 charges including bribery, fraud and breach of trust, has returned to Parliament Hill.
Duffy had, until just over a week ago, been suspended from the Senate without pay as he awaited the verdict of his criminal trial.
Ontario Court judge Charles Vaillancourt found Duffy not guilty of the 31 charges against him on April 21. The senator did not comment when exiting the courtroom, but smiled as he returned to his waiting vehicle.
WATCH: Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne tells Tom Clark his client is overwhelmed by the events of the past two years
The charges were linked specifically to Duffy’s travel and living expenses, an alleged “slush fund” set up with the senator’s friend Gerald Donohue and a $90,000 cheque handed over to Duffy by former chief of staff to the prime minister Nigel Wright.
Duffy had expressed his intention to return to the Senate, and has now been fully reinstated, with office resources and a regular paycheque.
With files from Bryan Mullan.