Richard Hurlburt pleads guilty in spending scandal
Published Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:44PM ADT
A former politician charged in the Nova Scotia MLA expense scandal had his day in court Thursday.
The former Conservative MLA Richard Hurlburt appeared in court in his hometown of Yarmouth and spoke publically for the first time since being charged.
"Today I pled guilty of the charges and I am taking full responsibility of my actions," says Hurlburt. "I also want to apologize to my wife and family and all my friends and I want to apologize and I want to thank them for being there, their love and support. And to all Yarmouthians, I want to say thank you to them for their still support and I apologize for any undo hardship that it's caused on them or any other Nova Scotians."
Hurlburt is one of four former politicians charged in the MLA expense scandal. Today he pled guilty to two of the more serious charges.
"A count of fraud over $5,000 and a count of breach of trust by a public official," says Crown Attorney Andrew MacDonald.
Three counts of uttering false documents were withdrawn.
"All of the conduct that was alleged to be criminal in nature in relation to those counts was captured by the two counts that he did plead guilty to," says MacDonald.
The matter was moved from Halifax to Yarmouth in February, at the time, Hurlburt's lawyer explained his client would face the court and the people of Yarmouth, constituents he represented for more than ten years.
"When he did work here he did some very good work," says Yarmouth resident John Daley. "He just run a little foul of that little problem there, but other than that he was really good, good member."
"It is important to recognize when you've made a mistake and you know to speak to it and you know, to admit to it," says another resident Kristina German. "But there should be some kind of justice and some kind of punishment."
Hurlburt will be back in court for sentencing on July 5. The crown says there are a range of possible penalties, including jail time. However, he isn't prepared to say what he will be asking for.
Richard Hurlburt departs the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Yarmouth, N.S., on Thursday April 12, 2012. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)