Da Legal Stuff...

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Need a Job? Walter Noel Knows The Best Employers

While most of the provincial MHA’s caught up in the recent spending scandal are keeping their mouths and billing files firmly shut, former Liberal cabinet minister Walter Noel is defending himself against the findings in the Auditor General's report.

Noel, who served under former Liberal premiers Brian Tobin and Roger Grimes and has recently announced his intention to run for the Liberals in the next federal election, says he doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong.

According to the Auditor General, while holding provincial office Noel spent over $12,000 of taxpayer’s money on everything from perfumes to women’s clothing, wine to beer and luggage to electronics. Noel is insisting the purchases were legitimate. His reasoning is that because the expenses were approved they must be valid.

Now that’s what I call circular logic at its best.

In a recent interview Noel is quoted as saying, “I know taxpayers don't find it acceptable and the current auditor general doesn't (approve), but we're not dealing with the current situation. It's the kind of thing that's done by most businesses.”

All I can say Walter is I’d like to know which businesses you’re talking about. They sound like a great bunch to work for. Why don’t you drop me a line with the names? If I ever find myself in the market for a new job I wouldn’t mind sending out a few resumes.


Anonymous said...

Is this guy for real?

I'm a professional who lives and dies by my expense account, especially when I travel on business.

If I claimed the sorts of things this guy claimed I'd have been fired years ago, not to mention charged and likely convicted of fraud.

"done by most businesses" my ass.

Now this yahoo is planning to run as an MP? Well at least if he's elected he'll be able to spread the cost of his expenses across 30 million taxpayers rather than just 500,000 or so.

Anonymous said...

They're all a bunch of crooks. Liberal, PC, NDP. We all know that, but Noel, in trying to explain away his actions really puts across the point that the politicians involved are indeed sorry about what happened.

Not sorry about what they did mind you, just sorry they were caught at it.

Sue said...

That was refreshing - nice to read about the real problems in our system.
Walter spent his whole career sitting on a fence.
Same old - I know what I did was wrong but here are the right reasons for why I did it.

Anonymous said...

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am not partisan when it comes to politics. I weigh several factors before casting a ballot in any election. Having said that, I will NEVER and I mean NEVER cast a ballot for any of those embroiled in the constituancy allowance fiasco. If each and every candidate running in my district were unappropriately spending OUR money, I would rather spoil my ballot than endorse either candidate. I saw Noel on CBC defending his actions and it was all I could do to keep from vomitting. And then we have Rideout saying he will only pay back money when he finally steps down from politics. These people will never see their actions as being inappropriate, and thusly should be kept out of office.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of anyone spending my tax dollars inappropriately, but we need to look at the context that the comments were made.
If Noel is stating that buying gifts, spending money on business associates and people of influence is normal business practice, then he is quite correct. In the case of a senior manager, the costs incurred on the golf course, dinners, booze ups or special occasion gifts to business partners and customers is paid by the company's dime. This practice has been reduced in recent years but is still common in larger entities.
Private sector managers with responsibilities similar to Noel's rarely pay for the types of items that he expensed. Those expenses are sometimes considered tax deductions (screwing the taxpayer yet again) and are expensed.
The question is, were the gifts for individuals that added to NL's well being or ones that benefitted him personally? If they were for personal gain, no company would absorb those costs, nor should Noel have charged them (if he did).
Patriot, I would NEVER work for a company that required those costs to be a personal expense. It all depends on the role that you play in your organization and the type of work that you do.

Patriot said...

Good, and valid points, Anon.

So, let's examine what Walter Noel said in a recent interview on the topic.

The article noted, "...were gifts for people he worked with"

Not that they were bought while wooing potential business investors or movers and shakers, but, "...for people he worked with"

I also entertain clients and expense that out, but if I buy a gift for someone I work with it comes out of my pocket. And it begs the question, who were these people, underlings or perhaps other dipping MHA's, who knows. I'm sure I don't because Mr. Noel claims he doesn't recall and isnt' saying.

Anonymous said...

Noel's best bet at this point would be to take a similar action to that Paul Dick's announced today. He needs to rediscover his memory, determine the expenses that were for legitimate government business (with supporting documentation) and pay back what was inappropriately spent, regardless of what the rules around expense claims were at the time they were approved. That might help him gain back some respect that he's lost as a result of his previous actions. It would be refreshing to see all individuals named do the same. After seeing Tom Rideout's explanation of why he won't be paying back his constituency bonus, something tells me that's not going to happen.

Patriot said...

You're right, they should all pay it back now, with interest, not just the principle.

Also, Paul Dicks might not be the best example. He spent most of his on Expensive wine (he's a collector) and art. Both of which likely have gone up a shit load in the past 5 or 10 years. If he really wanted to make amends he should give back the wine and art, not the pittance (by comparison) that he paid for it way back when.

Anonymous said...

"former Liberal cabinet minister Walter Noel is defending himself against the findings in the Auditor General's report."

You should have stopped here Patriot.As soon as you said the word liberial,I'm sure your readers would have understood that he was entitled to his entitlements

Anonymous said...

Rank the candidates in all of the Newfoundland and Labrador Ridings.