Nova Scotia

Hurlburt pleads guilty in N.S. spending scandal

Richard Hurlburt, a former Nova Scotia MLA, apologizes to the people of Yarmouth after pleading guilty to fraud and breach of trust.

Ex-cabinet minister apologizes to former Yarmouth constituents


  • Guilty to fraud over $5,000, breach of trust
  • Charges of uttering forged documents dropped
  • To be sentenced on July 5

Richard Hurlburt, a former Nova Scotia cabinet minister, apologized to his former constituents today after pleading guilty to fraud and breach of trust.

Hurlburt entered his pleas in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Yarmouth. His wife Nancy was at his side.

Later, he told reporters he accepted responsibility for his actions.

"I want to apologize to the constituents of Yarmouth for any hardship that it's put on to [them] and all of Nova Scotians," he said.

He refused to take questions.

Hurlburt, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister under John Hamm, will be sentenced on July 5.

Hurlburt and three others were charged in 2010 following an investigation into MLA spending between July 2006 and June 2009.

The provincial auditor general found a number of questionable constituency expense claims. Purchases like an espresso maker and custom-made furniture were deemed excessive and inappropriate.

Hurlburt billed $8,000 for a generator he kept at his home. He initially defended the cost, saying seniors at a nearby housing complex could use it.

He also spent more than $3,000 to buy and install a 40-inch LCD television.

It wasn't long before he resigned and apologized. He said he paid back the money.

Last fall, Dave Wilson, former Liberal MLA for Glace Bay, pleaded guilty to uttering forged documents, fraud and breach of trust.

Russell MacKinnon's trial is set to start on May 3.

Trevor Zinck — the only sitting MLA to be charged — is due in court in June for a preliminary inquiry. The former New Democrat is now an Independent.