Former Nova Scotia MLA Dave Wilson is out of jail after serving a little more than four months of a nine-month sentence, CBC News has learned.

A justice department spokesperson confirmed Wilson, former MLA for Glace Bay, was released from custody today.

The disgraced politician defrauded Nova Scotia taxpayers of nearly $61,000 to support his gambling addiction, a court heard in April.

He was sentenced on April 19 to nine months in jail and 18 months probation.

Inmates will often be released on parole early for good behaviour.

He pleaded guilty last September to one count each of uttering forged documents, fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

Wilson resigned as MLA for Glace Bay in March 2010.

The trial and sentencing

The Crown tabled reports during the trial, stating that Wilson has an impulse disorder and a pathological gambling addiction.

Wilson told the court he lived every day in fear of being caught.

Crown attorneys said Wilson capitalized on his position as a highly regarded MLA and took money he wasn't entitled to over four years.

They said he submitted 36 false expense receipts using five people's names — including his niece and brother-in-law —totalling $60,995.

The Crown called Wilson's actions deliberate and noted that he never got a loan or maxed out his own credit card.

Crown lawyer Andrew Macdonald said after the sentencing it was a strong message to public figures who misuse public funds.

"If sentenced, they will be treated firmly by the judicial system. It will be taken very seriously," Macdonald said in April.

Corrections

  • In an earlier version of this story, CBC said former MLA Dave Wilson was released on probation. Tara Walsh at the Nova Scotia justice department said Wilson has been released on parole, his probabtionary period will begin once nine months has passed from the day he was sent to jail.
    Aug 30, 2012 4:32 PM AT