Government holding back Trevor Zinck’s $51K severance

Convicted Nova Scotia MLA Trevor Zinck will not receive a transitional allowance now that he has quit the legislature.

Trevor Zinck pleaded guilty to fraud, breach of trust

Lawyer Lyle Howe holds the door as his client, former MLA Trevor Zinck, heads into Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Monday, June 17, 2013. Zinck was one of four politicians charged following an investigation by the province's auditor general into constituency allowance spending. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)

The Nova Scotia government is holding back $51,000 in severance for an Independent politician who pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust in the province's MLA spending scandal.

Trevor Zinck resigned Wednesday after hearing he would lose the transitional funding to close his constituency office if he was expelled from the legislature, which had been recalled to deal with his status as a sitting member.

Speaker of the House Gordie Gosse said he’s holding the money back until the government can be sure Zinck will pay back the money he owes.

"They are starting a scan … if there’s a penny owed to government they’ll know it’s there," said Gosse.

In an agreed statement of facts, Zinck admitted that the Speaker's office reimbursed him for $10,060 in expense claims he filed in 2008 and 2009, even though he never paid those listed in his claims.

The Speaker’s office also said it wants to make sure every department gets the money it is owed.

Gosse said he’s not sure how long the process will take.

Zinck held on to his MLA seat until the bitter end, announcing his resignation Wednesday afternoon.

with files from The Canadian Press