Your money, their legal bills
[PoliticsWatch Updated 11:00 a.m. July 24, 2006]
|The Usual Suspects: Five players, one
scandal, over $1.5-million in legal fees. Alphonso
Gagliano, David Dingwall, Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and Chuck
Guite have billed the government over $1.5 million
combined for their Gomery inquiry legal bills.
OTTAWA — Canadians
are on the hook already for nearly $2.8 million in legal fees for a
number of witnesses who appeared at the Gomery inquiry.
Access to information documents from the federal justice
department obtained by PoliticsWatch show that former public works
minister Alfonso Gagliano led the way, submitting 17 legal bills for
a total of $727,917.23 for representation at the inquiry.
The justice department notes in their release that all figures
represent amounts billed to the government, not necessarily the
amounts paid as of November 14, 2005. Some of the bills submitted by
witnesses were under dispute and not approved as of November 14.
Former prime minister Jean Chretien ran up a tab of $587,430,
substantially more than former prime minister Paul Martin whose bill
totalled just $34,792.
After running up more than half a million in legal fees to
taxpayers, Chretien has said his further legal challenges of
Gomery's findings will be paid for out of pocket.
Former PMO chief of staff Jean Pelletier was a close second to
Gagliano, with 14 legal bills totaling $636,366. Lawyers for another
Chretien PMO staffer, Jean Carle, submitted six invoices totalling
The big winner for the law firms was Borden, Ladner, Gervais, which
provided representation for three of the four biggest billers --
Chretien, Pelletier and former deputy public works minister Ran
The only person on the list facing criminal charges is Chuck Guite,
the bureaucrat that ran the sponsorship program in its heyday. Guite
was recently convicted on five counts of fraud and sentenced to 42
months in jail. Guite is currently out on bail and is
But for the inquiry, Guite's billed the government $170,789 for legal representation.
Gomery's fact finding report was released in November and laid blame
for the sponsorship scandal on Chretien, Pelletier and Gagliano
among others. Gomery went out of his way to exonerate Martin and
members of his government at the time.
legal line up
||Number of legal bills
||Total billed to the
|Note: this list was compiled
based on information released by the federal Department of Justice to
PoliticsWatch News on March 27, 2006.
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