PMO Senate Expense Scandal: Who 's Who: The PMO

This section is related to an important “interactive” article titled “THE SENATE EXPENSES SCANDAL: Who ‘s Who” by Kirsten Smith and Jason Fekete that was recently published on the Ottawa Citizen website that unfortunately is not web-accessible, thus inaccessible, to many internet users that may have limited and/or obsolete technologies and/or those with disabilities that require assistive devices. Below you will find the article transcripts, which are based upon an the java-scripted info-graphic image from the article that has been converted into individual, categorized and sub-linked info-graphics with text alternatives.

The PMO Senate Expense Scandal: Who 's Who:

Kirsten Smith and Jason Fekete unravel the complex trail of who knew what and when as the expenses of key Tory Senators became a major political scandal.


The PMO:
Who 's Who

* People who the RCMP says knew of $90,000 repayment to Mike Duffy. (individuals that were highlighted in the graphic with a yellow ring surrounding their image placement in the original graphic tree info-graphic)

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper

    • Position: Prime minister, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

    • Role: Maintained his former chief of staff Nigel Wright acted alone when he wrote a personal cheque of more than $90,000 to cover Sen. Mike Duffy‘s improper Senate expense claims. Said Wright did not initially tell him about the repayment scheme and that he only learned of it May 15, 2013, nearly two months after Wright decided to do it. As a result, either fired Wright or accepted his resignation: has used both descriptions. Harper says he told Duffy on Feb. 13, following a caucus meeting, that he must repay all improper expenses.

  • Nigel Wright *

    • Position: Was chief of staff to Harper, oversaw activities of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) staff and managed Conservative caucus members.

    • Reported to: Stephen Harper.

    • Role: Was “dismissed or resigned in May 2013 after admitting he wrote a personal cheque of more than $90,000 to cover Sen. Mike Duffy‘s improper Senate expense claims. RCMP allege he broke the law in helping Duffy repay the funds.

      Negotiated with Duffy and Janice Payne (Duffy‘s lawyer) the repayment of $90,000 in expenses, based on a series of conditions, including softening a Senate audit of Duffy, according to RCMP. also informed Benjamin Perrin (Harper‘s lawyer), PMO staffer Chris Woodcock and Sen. Irving Gerstein (chair of a conservative party fund) of the decision.

      Quarterbacked discussions to initially have conservative party pay back $32,000 in improper expenses for Duffy plus legal fees, until it was discovered the amount was more than $90,000;

      Helped co-ordinate discussions with Gerstein, Sen. Marjory LeBreton (former government leader in Senate), Sen. David Tkachuk and Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen about having a Deloitte audit, launched by a Senate committee, go easy on Duffy, according to the RCMP.

  • Benjamin Perrin *

    • Position: Former special adviser and legal council to the prime minister; now associate law professor at the University of British Columbia.

    • Reported to: Nigel Wright and ultimately Stephen Harper.

    • Role: Helped negotiate with Wright, Mike Duffy and Duffy’s lawyer the repayment of ineligible Senate expenses on condition a Senate-commissioned Deloitte audit go easy on Duffy, the RCMP says.

      Was involved in discussions with Duffy’s lawyer and others about the conservative party initially repaying $32,000 of Duffy‘s improper expenses.

  • David van Hemmen *

  • Andrew MacDougall

    • Position: Former director of communications for the prime minister and chief spokesman. Now works for strategic communications firm in United Kingdom.

    • Reported to: Nigel Wright.

    • Role: Sent and email May 14 to Wright and others explaining he had received inquiries from a journalist about Wright co-signing an loan for Duffy to repay the money. Wright responded to PMO officials that: “The PM knows, in broad terms only, that I personally assisted Duffy when I was getting him to agree to repay the expenses. On the specific matter, I did not co-sign a loan.”

      On May 15, after media reports that Wright wrote a personal cheque for the $90,000, MacDougall told media that Duffy was unable to make timely payment, and Wright covered the cost.

  • Chris Woodcock *

    • Position: Former directors of issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office; now chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

    • Reported to: Nigel Wright.

    • Role: Was informed by Wright that Wright had personally covered Mike duff’s $90,000 in ineligible Senate expenses. Involved in internal communication between PMO, Duffy and conservative Senate leadership on softening Deloitte audit of Duffy if the senator agreed to repay ineligible expenses.

      Was also present at a key May 8 meeting among PMO officials, senators Marjory LeBreton and Carolyn Stewart Olsen and others to discuss draft Senate report on Duffy, where “PMO staff present were urging to have the report amended to be less critical of Senator Duffy,” the RCMP say.

  • Patrick Rogers

    • Position: Former manager of parliamentary affairs in the PMO, now director of policy to Heritage Minister Shelly Glover.

    • Reported to: Nigel Wright.

    • Role: Worked with Wright and Perrin on having Duffy repay ineligible expense claims.

      According to RCMP documents, was a key player in stickhandling many negotiations between PMO and Conservative leadership in Senate over the Deloitte audit. also involved in asking Sen. Irving Gerstein to call a contact at Deloitte to see if audit would end if $90,000 was repaid.

      Emails in RCMP hands say Rogers gave Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen the PMO’s preferred changes to the audit report to ensure it wasn’t too critical of Duffy.

  • Ray Novak

    • Position: Current chief of staff to Harper, former principal secretary and deputy chief of staff before Wright resigned.

    • Reported to: Nigel Wright.

    • Role: Duffy suggests Novak participated in a phone call with Sen. Marjory LeBreton in which they threatened to expel him from the Senate if Duffy did not resign from caucus and admit to improper expenses. RCMP documents indicate Novak spoke with various senators around Duffy expense issue.

      In one email to Woodcock, says Duffy‘s “lying really is tiresome.”

The PMO Senate Expense Scandal: Who's Who: Related Text Transcripts

The PMO Senate Expense Scandal: Who 's Who: Related Info-graphics

Please note that this section is intended to compliment our very comprehensive and open source organizational effort regarding the Harper Regime, including shareable info-graphics, timelines, downloads, etc. Any help and/or assistance in gathering specific data is greatly appreciated so please feel free to add comments, links, leaks and suggestions below…

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