Nigel Wright Next to Resign in Senator Mike Duffy Housing Expenses Scandal
Back in February the story was broken about Senator Mike Duffy’s housing expenses, and whether or not it was right that he was forced to take out two mortgages, and was then criticized in Parliament for over-spending on housing expenses. It turns out, that Senator Mike Duffy was in the wrong, and he had improperly claimed a summer home in P.E.I. as his primary residence. He was given $90,000 in taxpayers money for that home.
Whether or not Duffy wrongly claimed the expenses intentionally or not has yet to be seen; but Duffy has already resigned from his position. As of Sunday morning, Nigel Wright was next to follow suit.
Mike Duffy stated on March 25, 2013 that he had repaid the expenses and in full, and he had. However, what he had not shared was the fact that Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Harper’s Chief of Staff, had written a cheque for the full amount that allowed Duffy to repay his expenses.
Wright’s intentions were also unknown, but he did state that his actions were taken only to help repay the funds that was ultimately paid by the taxpayers. It was after many audits and investigations that Wright’s actions were ultimately found out; and as of Sunday, he resigned from his post as the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff.
In his statement, Wright announced that Harper had accepted his resignation, “in light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Senator Duffy. 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.”
He also wanted to make very clear that the Prime Minister had no knowledge of how Duffy’s funds were repaid.
“I did not advise the Prime Minister by means of which Senator Duffy’s expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact,” he stated.
After Wright’s statement, Prime Minister Harper issued one of his own.
“It is with regret that I have accepted the resignation of Nigel Wright as my chief of staff. I accept that Nigel believed he was acting in the public interest, but I understand the decision he has taken to resign.
“I want to thank Nigel for his tremendous contribution to our government over the past two and a half years,” Harper stated.
According to CBC’s Hannah Thibedeau, Ray Novak will be taking over the position of his Chief of Staff. Novak has been Harper’s principal secretary since 2008.