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Former Harper chief of staff Wright won't face criminal charges, RCMP says

Investigators now say the evidence gathered "does not support criminal charges against Mr. Wright"

RCMP officials say Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, won't face criminal charges in connection with the ongoing Senate expenses scandal.

Wright resigned as Harper's right-hand man after it was disclosed he wrote a personal cheque for $90,000 to Mike Duffy to allow the disgraced former Conservative senator to repay disallowed housing expenses.

Investigators now say the evidence gathered ``does not support criminal charges'' against Wright.

``When the RCMP initiated the investigation, there were sufficient grounds to pursue the matter with regards to the offences of breach of trust, bribery, frauds on the government, as well as receiving prohibited compensation contrary to the Parliament of Canada Act,'' the Mounties said in a statement.

``Upon completion of the investigation, we have concluded that the evidence gathered does not support criminal charges against Mr. Wright.''

In a statement distributed Tuesday by lawyer Peter Mantas, Wright sounded a note of vindication.

``My intention was to secure the repayment of taxpayer funds. I believed that my actions were always in the public interest and lawful,'' Wright said.

``The outcome of the RCMP's detailed and thorough investigation has now upheld my position.''

In February, former Liberal senator Mac Harb and former Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau were charged with one count each of fraud and breach of trust - the first criminal charges to emanate from the scandal.

The Mounties continue to investigate allegedly fraudulent expenses claimed by Duffy and former Conservative senator Pamela Wallin.

The news also prompted a swift - if anodyne - statement Tuesday from the Prime Minister's Office.

``We are pleased the RCMP has made progress in their work,'' it said. ``The Prime Minister's Office will continue offering every possible assistance to the RCMP's investigation.''

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  1. Sonny posted on 04/15/2014 05:50 PM
    Another Conservative getting away with it. Follow the money!
  2. don was right posted on 04/15/2014 08:37 PM
    Time again for Warren Kinsella to eat his words.
    1. Frankie posted on 04/16/2014 02:53 AM
      @don was right Time for you to get a job so that you can actually afford something to eat.
  3. Walter posted on 04/15/2014 10:30 PM
    In the end, this looks like a "scandal" involving hundreds of thousands of dollars claimed by Senators.
    Not Hundreds of Millions of dollars like the Liberal Adscam scandal.
    Not Billions of dollars like the Liberal Gas Plant scandal.
    And, the largest spender in the senate "scandal" was Liberal Mac Harb.
    1. Fact Provider posted on 04/16/2014 04:59 AM
      @Walter Sad to see your total lack of insight, Walter.

      This is actually about the fact that the Prime Minister of the country has been lying about it for many months and that he has seen to it that his chief of staff will not see jail time for their mutual involvement.
  4. Mark7.5 posted on 04/16/2014 08:08 AM
    So why did Harper throw him under the bus?
    1. Fact Provider posted on 04/16/2014 08:52 AM
      @Mark7.5 What bus?
      Wright lost his appointment - with a nice big severance - and has gone to the private sector to make another ton of money.
      Meanwhile, Harper has protected both of them from real consequences.
      Think about it.
  5. Karl Burgin posted on 04/17/2014 10:34 AM
    1.> I'm glad Mr. Wright is off the hook. Its was almost a no-win situation for him
    2.> I'm getting rather tired of Consevative leaders throwing their underlings under the proverbial bus. Especially for things they already had knowledge of. Harper knows- but he just won't say. This had better be the last time he pulls this crap.
    1. Fact Provider posted on 04/17/2014 10:55 AM
      @Karl Burgin The last time?
      Would that be before or after the "Voter Suppression Act" (so-called Fair Elections Act) ?
      It won't be the last time. That's a given.
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