Police clear Canada PM's former aide of bribe, fraud charges
April 17, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
OTTAWA--Police on Tuesday dropped their yearlong pursuit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former right-hand man for alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Nigel Wright was being investigated for helping a Conservative senator pay back about CA$90,000 (US$82,000) in fraudulent expense claims.
The scandal was a drag on the Conservatives' popularity and cost Wright his job as Harper's chief of staff, while the senator was suspended from the upper chamber.
“Mr. Wright was advised by the RCMP today that it has concluded its investigation into his actions, and will not be laying any charges against him,” Wright's lawyer Peter Mantas said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed that the evidence did not support criminal charges.
“My intention was to secure the repayment of taxpayer funds. I believed that my actions were always in the public interest and lawful,” Wright said in a statement.
“The outcome of the RCMP's detailed and thorough investigation has now upheld my position.”
Harper's spokesman said he was “pleased” with the outcome.
The file has now been handed over to the parliamentary ethics commissioner, Mary Dawson. Her office said she was “reviewing the matter.”