06 January 2010

Mr. Walsh goes to jail

Former Liberal cabinet minister Jim Walsh will be spending a few months behind bars for his part in the House of Assembly spending scandal.

Judge David Orr sentenced Walsh to 22 months for fraud and 12 months for breach of trust.  The sentences will be served concurrently.

By contrast, former provincial Conservative leader, natural resources minister and government leader in the House of Assembly Ed Byrne got two years less a day for fraud and 18 months for breach of trust, also served concurrently, for his part in the affair.

Walsh is the only one of the politicians charged thus far who opted to plead not guilty and face a trial.  That likely had something to do with the sentence. The Crown recommended 18 months while the defence suggested no more than half that time to be served conditionally.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Wally Anderson was sentenced last year to 15 months for forgery and none months for breach of trust.

Former New Democrat member Randy Collins will be sentenced January 15.