Emails show alleged abuse of power by Sen. Colin Kenny
Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014 10:00PM EST
CTV News has obtained emails at the centre of allegations that Sen. Colin Kenny sexually harassed a staff member and treated her more like a personal assistant than public servant.
The emails are contained in a nearly 500-page preliminary report that reveals then-staffer Pascale Brisson's day-to-day duties.
Those duties included personal tasks such as picking up Kenny’s drug prescriptions, including pills for erectile dysfunction, and arranging personal training sessions.
Kenny left the Liberal caucus last November after Brisson filed a complaint over her treatment, accusing Kenny of sexual harassment and abuse of power.
The preliminary report shows that Brisson alleged Kenny once said to her, "I thought of you in your bathing suit by the pool all weekend," and she alleged that in another incident he snuck his hand around her waist.
Brisson told investigators she spent about half of her time doing personal business for Kenny.
She raised objections in an email to Kenny, saying: "I am not paid with the public funds to do your personal tasks."
Kenny responded by saying: "You have responsibility to keep my schedule up to date."
Conservative and NDP MPs said Wednesday that using public funds to pay for a staffer to complete personal tasks is inappropriate.
"If Senator Kenny is charging people to pick up pills for his erectile dysfunction – I’m sorry, I'm sure you can do that on your own dime," NDP MP Charlie Angus said.
"If he's charging people to walk his dog, you can do that on your own dime."
Treasury Board President Tony Clement called the allegations against Kenny “disturbing.”
"We have rules in place that should be followed,” he said. “In fact, we just toughened these in the case of senators. We expect every parliamentarian to be accountable for his or her actions and that includes first and foremost when it involves public expense."
Kenny has denied the allegations, but he has admitted that his staff dealt with his personal business about one per cent of the time.
Meanwhile, Independent Liberal senators stayed mum on the investigation against their former colleague.
"This town thrives on rumours and if you paid attention to every single rumour you heard you’d never have a chance to do anything else," Sen. James Cowan told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Cowan, who now leads the independent Liberals in the Senate, said he didn't know anything about the merits of the allegations against Kenny.
The final report is expected as early as March.
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