by: Obert Madondo
If there’s anywhere in the world an appointed public official more arrogant than Sen. Pamela Wallin, please let me know.
Wallin, an embattled former Conservative Senator, has repaid the $138,969 she fraudulently claimed from the Senate, plus $13,938.19 in interest. In case you’re tempted to think Wallin is sorry, think again. She remains unrepentant. And she’s mad as hell.
In a statement released Friday, Wallin trashed both the independent accounting firm Deloitte, which audited her expenses, and the Senate’s Internal Economy Committee, which ordered her to repay the money.
“I wish to make it clear. I was not treated fairly by the Deloitte review, which was not conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principle, nor have I been treated fairly by the Senate Committee,” Wallin wrote. “Evidence that casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing was either ignored or disregarded during the review.”
Walling was especially ruthless with the Senate committee, accusing it of succumbing to a ‘lynch mob’ mentality. In essence, Wallin is playing victim in the strongest sense possible: she accuses Canada of lynching her by asking her to repay the taxpayers’ money she fraudulently claimed.
And, the Saskatchewan senator, appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, won’t resign. She explain in her statement: “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.”
It’s not hard to understand why Wallin won’t resign. Appointed only in 2009, she isn’t yet entitled to Senate’s lucrative pension.
Wallin, there’s no better way to show the arrogance and third-world-style sense of entitlement that continues to erode the soul of the Red Chamber.
Here’s the full text of Wallin’s official statement:
As I promised I would, today I personally reimbursed the Government of Canada in the amount which the Senate’s Internal Economy Committee concluded I was not entitled to claim, together with interest on that money.
Personal cheques amounting to one hundred thousand, six hundred dollars and ninety-eight cents ($100,600.98) plus interest were submitted to the Senate Finance Directorate and I have notified the chair of the Internal Economy Committee of this.
Although I fundamentally disagree with the methodology used in arriving at that figure, particularly since the amount was calculated using newly created rules to examine past expenses, I do not want to burden the people of Canada and, in particular the people of Saskatchewan, by engaging in a protracted legal debate about the matter.
I wish to make it clear. I was not treated fairly by the Deloitte review, which was not conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principle, nor have I been treated fairly by the Senate Committee. Evidence that casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing was either ignored or disregarded during the review.
When I submitted expense claims, I did so in good faith, honestly believing that the reimbursement was appropriate. If mistakes were made, I am responsible for those, but there was never a deliberate attempt to thwart the travel policy that was in place at the time the claims were submitted.
Unfortunately, the Senate Committee succumbed to a “lynch mob” mentality. There was no regard to procedural or substantive fairness. I am disappointed and angry about the way in which this matter was handled, and any implication that I behaved dishonestly.
I welcome an independent and objective review by the RCMP and I intend to cooperate fully with any such review. 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.
I will make no further public comment at this time.