In a statement to media from RCMP Cpl. Lucy Shorey this week, Cpl. Shorey implied that the force's examination of the details of Nigel Wright's $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy for criminal wrongdoing could be a lengthy one. It also promises to be thorough.
"The RCMP continues its investigation to determine whether a criminal act has taken place,” Cpl. Shorey wrote in an email to the media. “It must be meticulous and carefully consider, and examine, all information. The RCMP would only lay charges when there is sufficient evidence to do so.”
The investigation of Wright, who resigned as the PM's chief-of-staff when the affair came to light, is to determine if he broke and act of parliament. Because of the investigation, federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson has suspended her investigation, as has Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard suspended hers.
Wright claims he gave Mike Duffy $90,000 as gift
In May it was learned Wright had paid off a debt Senator Mike Duffy had to the Canadian taxpayer. Duffy, a former broadcaster who left the Conservative caucus over the scandal, had falsely filled out residency forms for multiple years and as a result was paid $90,000 he did not deserve. He could not repay the debt and Wright did so, he said, as a gift to Duffy.
Wright resigned when his repayment became public and issued the following statement: "In light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Senator Duffy, the prime minister has accepted my resignation as Chief of Staff. My actions were intended solely to secure the repayment of funds, which I considered to be in the public interest, and I accept sole responsibility. I did not advise the Prime Minister of the means by which Sen. Duffy's expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact."
The RCMP have given no time frame on their investigation and Cpl. Shorey said they will not comment further on the matter until the investigation is complete.