MLA Koskie convicted of fraud

REGINA – A Saskatchewan provincial politician has been convicted of fraud.

Murray Koskie, an NDP MLA and former cabinet minister, was found guilty of two counts of fraud on Feb. 3. He will be sentenced March 10. Tory MLA Gerry Muirhead was convicted of fraud the week before.

Charges against Koskie involved payments he made from his communications allowance to an advertising company. The money was meant to pay for advertisements, but Koskie cancelled the ads and received a refund.

He put the refund into his personal bank account instead of returning the money to the government, according to evidence presented in court.

Koskie claimed the money from the company was not a refund, but rather a political donation.

Muirhead was pushed out of the Progressive Conservative party by leader Bill Boyd after his conviction, but premier Roy Romanow will not say what he will do about Koskie. Since Koskie has not yet been sentenced, Romanow said it would be improper to comment on the matter.

Liberal leader Lynda Haverstock said Muirhead and Koskie should be kicked out of the legislature.

In a tragic turn of events, Jack Wolfe, one of the former PC politicians being investigated by the RCMP, last week died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Wolfe represented Assiniboia-Gravelbourg in south-central Saskatchewan from 1988 to 1991.

Wolfe and a number of other Tories were being investigated regarding their use of PC caucus funds during the Grant Devine government.

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