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The Globe and Mail

Former Nova Scotia Liberal pleads guilty to fraud in spending scandal

A former member of the Nova Scotia legislature pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud, uttering forged documents and breach of trust stemming from a spending scandal that erupted in the province last year.

Dave Wilson was charged earlier this year after a nine-month RCMP investigation into constituency allowance spending between 2006 and 2009.

The police probe began after provincial auditor-general Jacques Lapointe uncovered several cases of what he described as excessive and inappropriate spending of constituency funds.

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Mr. Lapointe's report ignited public outrage, revealing that thousands of dollars in public money had been spent on a range of items including power generators, TVs, custom-made furniture, laptops and cameras.

Mr. Wilson, who represented the Cape Breton district of Glace Bay, resigned from politics without explanation in March, 2010, saying only he could no longer fulfill his duties.

Mr. Wilson, who was once the chairman of the Liberal caucus, was first elected in 1999. Before entering politics, he worked as a broadcast journalist in Cape Breton and Saint John, N.B.

Three other former members of the legislature and one current member are also charged in the spending scandal.

Mr. Wilson's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25.

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