Paradis staffer used gov't credit card for Vegas trip
Published Wednesday, April 4, 2012 10:56PM EDT
A former spokesperson for embattled Industry Minister Christian Paradis used his government-issued credit card to pay for a hotel room during a personal trip to Las Vegas last year, CTV News has learned.
Richard Walker, former head of communications for Paradis, resigned from his post last week for health reasons.
According to documents obtained by CTV News, the Las Vegas trip expense was part of an $11,415 delinquent bill on the credit card, which also included work-related expenses.
Government rules stipulate the cards must be paid off in 60 days. Walker took at least five months.
American Express confirmed part of that bill included the Las Vegas expense, although government rules say "employees are responsible for ensuring (it) only be used to pay for authorized government travel."
The government has been quiet on the matter, issuing a brief statement early Wednesday evening.
"This individual is no longer employed by this office. All amounts owed have been recovered directly from the individual. Taxpayers are not on the hook for any of these expenses," Margaux Stastny, director of communications for Paradis, said in a statement.
Paradis has been no stranger recently to cries of ethical misconduct.
He was rapped on the knuckles by Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson last month for a conflict of interest breach.
Paradis was then accused of further misconduct for staying at the hunting lodge of former Quebec Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut in 2009, who was then lobbying the government for funding on a new hockey arena.
With a report from CTV's Daniele Hamamdjian