Nova Scotia

Judge delays Hurlburt decision

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has reserved his decision in the sentencing of former MLA, Richard Hurlburt, who pleaded guilty in the province's spending scandal.

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has reserved his decision in the sentencing of former MLA, Richard Hurlburt, who pleaded guilty in the province's expense claim scandal.

Hurlburt will be sentenced on July 27. 

Hurlburt, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister under premiers John Hamm and Rodney Macdonald, pleaded guilty to the charges of fraud and breach of trust in April.

Hurlburt addressed the court on Thursday and apologized to voters and his family.

Crown lawyer Andrew Macdonald told the court Hurlburt submitted false expense claims totalling over $25,000 over two years.

The Crown said there were four false claims between December 2006 and 2008, one for a television, another for a generator and two for renovations.

Macdonald said he wants the former Nova Scotia cabinet minister to serve nine months in jail.

"Mr. Hurlburt, as I see it, was taking advantage of a system," said MacDonald.

In court Macdonald said Hurlburt was motivated by greed.

Hurlburt's lawyer, Stan MacDonald, argued his client should not be jailed, in part, because he repaid all the money.

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.

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