Nova Scotia

N.S. Liberal Party recovered $195K related to internal theft

New documents show the exact amount a former staffer stole from the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.

Total includes money a former staffer took and investigative costs

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party recently released its financial statements for 2021. (N.S. Liberal Party)

New documents show the exact amount a former staffer stole from the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.

The party recently released its 2021 financial statements and in those is a full accounting of the theft and associated costs totalling $194,557, all of which was recovered.

On Monday, the party's interim executive director, Doris Robbins, said the financial statements speak for themselves and declined further comment.

The document says the matter was discovered in 2021 and it was eventually learned unauthorized disbursements happened over several years.

In February 2021, the former employee paid back $19,557. Further investigation resulted in an additional $175,000 being repaid. According to a note in the financial statements, that included $62,762 related to legal and forensic audit costs, and $112,238 for money stolen.

Although the party and its board decided to deal with the issue in house, it eventually became public as emails about the matter started to leak earlier this year.

The situation led to bickering among board members and party officials, including former premier Stephen McNeil and the party president at the time, Joseph Khoury.

Khoury maintained throughout the process that the party followed proper procedures to deal with the theft and that everything related to that effort was above board.

Several Liberals organized a campaign to try to postpone the party's annual meeting in March, expressing concerns about a lack of information related to the theft. That effort was unsuccessful and the meeting went ahead without issue and without anyone asking questions about the situation, despite multiple opportunities to do so.