The RCMP have laid fraud and breach of trust charges against former federal privacy commissioner George Radwanski more than two years after announcing they would probe the orgy of inappropriate spending that led to his June 2003 resignation.
Mr. Radwanski met voluntarily with investigators in Toronto on Tuesday night to be formally arrested. He was released on a promise to appear in an Ottawa courtroom April 20.
The Mounties' 26-month investigation also netted Mr. Radwanski's former chief of staff, Arthur Lamarche. Like his ex-boss, Mr. Lamarche was charged with fraud and breach of trust, charges that carry maximum penalties of 10 and five years in prison, respectively.
The fraud charges against both men refer specifically to a $15,000 travel advance that Mr. Radwanski is accused of withdrawing without cause and Mr. Lamarche is accused of allegedly signing off on, according to court documents filed in Ottawa.
The breach of trust charges were filed in connection with four federal policies and acts whose rules the former privacy boss allegedly broke, the documents say, during a 2 1/2-year term that Auditor General Sheila Fraser said in a fall 2003 report was marred by more than $500,000 in spending on high-priced dinners and globetrotting to conferences where little work was done.
Unfortunately, I have little confidence that Radwanski will spend any time behind bars or make proper restitution, should he be convicted.
I see another house arrest conditional sentence and Paul Coffin-style lecture tour on financial responsibility in his future, complete with fancy dinners with his communications director for providing
(Yes, yes, jackass, a charge is not proof of guilt, etc., etc.)
Source: Ottawa Citizen