Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Duffy's First Cousin Was Paid after Clipping, Scanning Articles from Paper

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Duffy's First Cousin Was Paid after Clipping, Scanning Articles from Paper

Article excerpt

Duffy cousin was paid for scanning papers


OTTAWA - One of Mike Duffy's first cousins in Prince Edward Island was paid after sending him scanned copies of news articles from the local papers, the suspended senator's trial heard today.

David McCabe's testimony kicked off the third week of Duffy's trial on 31 charges of breach of trust, fraud and bribery.

A number of the charges relate to a $65,000 contract paid to Duffy's friend Gerald Donohue in Ottawa; some of that money appears to have been doled out to other recipients, beyond the scrutiny of Senate officials.

McCabe and Duffy's mothers were sisters. He recalled knowing the senator as a teen.

"Back in high school, Mike spinned the records so I'd see him at dances and stuff like that," McCabe said via video link from Charlottetown.

The court heard that even before Duffy became a senator, McCabe would send him items of interest from the papers, including photos and articles about young relatives and their sports accomplishments.

McCabe, a furniture upholsterer by trade, said he also scanned articles about political issues. He said he never expected to be paid.

He received a $500 cheque from Donohue's company and told Crown attorney Jason Neubauer that at first he had no idea who it was from or what it was for.

Defence lawyer Donald Bayne tried to demonstrate that McCabe provided a legitimate service, even if he only did about half an hour of work a week.

"By the time of Sen. Duffy's appointment, you had proven yourself as a fella on top of local issues, local commentary, newspaper coverage of those issues, and you had reliably proven to be a good source for Sen. Duffy about those issues?" said Bayne.

"I would agree with that too, yes," said McCabe.

Bayne underlined that Duffy did not derive any financial benefit from the payment to his cousin. He raised the fact that Duffy paid for furniture repair work from McCabe with a personal cheque.

"There was no suggestion or request that any aspect of this $500 that you had received for performing this service be paid back or kicked back to Sen. …

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