News Canada

Senate scandal

Pamela Wallin says she's repaid travel claims

By David Akin, Postmedia Network

Senator Pamela Wallin pauses while delivering a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013.     REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Senator Pamela Wallin pauses while delivering a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA — Sen. Pamela Wallin cut a cheque to taxpayers for more than $100,000 on Friday, a final repaymment of travel claims her fellow senators said were improperly paid to the former CTV broadcaster.

But even as she signed her personal cheque for $100,600.98, she was defiant, saying she has been treated unfairly and will not resign her Senate seat.

"The senate committee succumbed to a lynch-mob mentality," Wallin said in a statement. "I am disappointed and angry about the way in which this matter was handled and any implication that I behaved dishonestly."

Wallin has now returned nearly $140,000 in travel claims.

Wallin is just one of a handful of senators under the gun for improperly claiming expenses but she is the only whose travel claims were put under the microscope and made subject of an independent audit.

Others include Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb. Wallin, Duffy, and Brazeau were appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harb was appointed by Jean Chretien.

Harb retired from the Senate earlier this summer while the others all now sit as independents.

RCMP investigators are probing all the spending to determine if any laws may have been broken.

"I welcome an independent and objective review by the RCMP and I intend to co-operate fully with any such review," Wallin said. "I have not done anything wrong. I am not guilty of any misconduct. Accordingly, I will not resign as a senator. I will continue to act for the people of Saskatchewan and Canada, fulfilling the duties of a senator that have been entrusted to me."

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