Newly released court documents filed by the RCMP show they are seeking hotel records in P.E.I. where suspended Senator Mike Duffy would have stayed with his wife during the winter months while he was claiming his cottage in Cavendish as his primary residence.
The RCMP recently said Nigel Wright, the prime minister's former chief of staff, would not face criminal charges in connection to the $90,000 he gave Duffy so the senator could repay his ineligible expenses.
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The documents filed in court on May 27 allege that Duffy committed "fraud and breach of trust" by filing expense claims for secondary accommodations in Ottawa.
Cpl. Greg Horton, the RCMP chief investigator, said he believes the hotel documents will show that Duffy's "primary residence is in Ottawa, not P.E.I."
The RCMP are seeking "all hotel room rental and folio information" for Duffy and his wife Heather Duffy between Jan. 1, 2009, and May, 26, 2014.
"I believe that those records will provide evidence of the named offences showing that Senator Duffy stays in hotels when visiting P.E.I. during winter months, not his declared primary residence."
The RCMP says Duffy's personal calendar shows he stayed at the Charlottetown hotel, the Delta hotel and the Great George hotel during his island stays.
Duffy's assistant told Horton the senator's cottage in Cavendish is not on the main highway and he preferred to stay in Charlottetown during winter storms.
"The house in Cavendish is snowed in," the assistant told Horton.
"Also, when his visits are short (for the weekend or something) he prefers to stay closer to the airport to arrive on time."
Hotels when in P.E.I.
Cpl. Horton reviewed Duffy's Senate expense claims to determine where he stayed while in P.E.I. during the winter months.
An analysis by Cpl. Horton of those expenses showed that Duffy stayed in P.E.I. 35 nights out of 481 days over a period of 16 months.
"I can not identify any night during that time period when he stayed in his cottage in Cavendish," Cpl. Horton said in the court documents.
The allegations are contained in the information to obtain a production order filed with the court to aid in the RCMP's investigation.
The RCMP continue to investigate Duffy for:
- Alleged "fraud, breach of trust, and bribery" related to the $90,000 cheque he accepted from Wright to repay his inappropriate expenses.
- Alleged "fraud and breach of trust" in connection with awarding a $65,000 consulting contract to a friend for little or no work done.
- Alleged "fraud and breach of trust" relating to expense claims filed for political or personal work, unrelated to Senate business.
Duffy was suspended from the Senate last November over inappropriate expense claims along with Conservative senators Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin.
Liberal Mac Harb resigned from the Senate last August after paying back $231,000 in ineligible housing and travel expenses.
Harb and Brazeau are facing criminal charges of fraud and breach of trust, while Duffy and Wallin have not been charged.
The allegations have not been proven in court.