Most of the money spent on an ethics investigation into a Nunavut MLA went to lawyers.

Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak asked the Integrity Commissioner, Norman Pickell, to look into allegations of conflict of interest involving South Baffin MLA Fred Schell last spring.

The investigation cost the legislative assembly more than $275,000.

Most of that covered the costs of lawyers, including the Integrity Commissioner himself — who earns an hourly contracted rate as commissioner.

Two other lawyers who worked with his office, as well as Schell’s lawyer, were also involved in the investigation.

Schell had to replace one lawyer with another during the process due to illness. His second lawyer flew in from British Columbia.

Overall, lawyers billed for 990 hours of work, plus their hotels, airfares and meals.

About $7,000 was used to translate documents into Inuktitut. The investigation also paid for a special trip for a witness to return from holidays to provide evidence at a hearing. There was also the cost of the court reporter.

Schell was found in breach of the territory’s Integrity Act and fined $10,000. He also must issue a series of apologies.