Ex-MLA allegedly billed for work staff wasn't paid for
Trial for Russell MacKinnon underway in Halifax
An employee of a former politician charged in Nova Scotia's spending scandal says he received an income tax form for $9,900 for work he was never paid for.
George MacKeigan testified as a Crown witness on Thursday in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial of Russell MacKinnon. MacKeigan, who worked as an executive assistant in MacKinnon's Sydney River constituency office from May to August 2006, said he was asked to sign three blank receipts that were submitted to the Speaker's Office by MacKinnon.
The Crown said the three receipts totalled $9,900 for vacation pay and work at the constituency office that included moving furniture and the packing and shredding of documents.
MacKeigan said he never got the money, but received a tax form in 2010 informing him that he owed the provincial government for income he didn't claim in May of that year.
On Wednesday, former staffer Nicole Campbell said she did not receive money MacKinnon told the legislature he owed her.
The court heard that MacKinnon told her he would pay her a $3,000 bonus if she bought his 1995 Chrysler Intrepid. She agreed.
In September 2005, MacKinnon submitted three receipts to the legislature, the first for $1,000 and two others for $1,200 each. The reason given for the submitted receipts was for secretarial services and expenses. But Campbell said she never saw any money for the offered $3,000 bonus.
The court heard in 2006, two months after Campbell left her secretarial job, that MacKinnon submitted a bill to pay her $1,500 for vacation pay and secretarial services. Campbell told the court she didn't see any of that money either.
On Tuesday, the Crown began laying out its case against MacKinnon as the trial began in Halifax.
Jocelyn Scallion, the former director of administration at the Speaker's Office, was called by the Crown to describe the types of members' expenses that were administered by the office.
Expense receipts were entered as evidence that Scallion said were submitted by MacKinnon from 2003 to 2006.
Asked in each case whether or not the receipts were a cause for concern under the rules governing members expenses, Scallion replied no.
MacKinnon, a former Liberal cabinet minister, has pleaded not guilty to fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents.
He was one of four politicians charged in February 2011 following an investigation by the province's auditor general into constituency allowance spending.
Former MLAs Dave Wilson and Richard Hurlburt both entered guilty pleas to charges they defrauded taxpayers. Wilson was given a nine-month jail sentence.
The only sitting MLA charged — Trevor Zinck, the independent member for Dartmouth North — is scheduled to go on trial in June.
with files from CBC News