Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s embattled chief of staff resigned Sunday morning over his role in helping Senator Mike Duffy repay over $90,000 in potentially improper Senate expenses.
In a release sent out by the Prime Minister’s Office, Nigel Wright said “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 revelation that Wright wrote Duffy a personal cheque to cover a $90,000 repayment for potentially improper Senate expenses came as a shock to many observers, who saw it as ethically problematic. The scandal — and confusion — deepened when Duffy claimed that he also took out a loan from Royal Bank to cover the cost of repaying his Senate expenses,”
Duffy has since been booted from the Conservative caucus.
Wright’s resignation is just the latest twist in a festering expense-claims scandal involving Conservative senators Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Pamela Wallin, as well as Liberal senator Mac Harb. All four have either been booted from or quit their respective party caucuses.