GUYSBOROUGH: A local warden is looking for an apology from a Strait area MLA.
During question period in the provincial legislature on November 8, Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster asked about expense practices in Guysborough. Specifically, he asked about Guysborough CAO Barry Carroll claiming the purchase of a briefcase as an expense.
“I asked about an expense that [Carroll] had expensed and he sent a letter,” said MacMaster. “We asked this question because we’ve been hearing that there were inappropriate expenses in Guysborough. This one had been brought to our attention and we asked the minister if he thought it was appropriate.”
Warden Vernon Pitts was not pleased with MacMaster’s query.
“I think his tactics are underhanded and certainly unprofessional,” said Pitts. “He should know better than that. The leader of the opposition, Jamie Baillie, should know better.”
Pitts said Carroll purchased a case to carry files relating to the dissolution of the Town of Canso in 2012.
“They interpreted that he was buying personal luggage for himself or his family which was totally untrue,” said Pitts. “Staff did their due diligence. They dug out the receipt, what it was purchased for. It was raised in council. The item paid for out of his budget for his office and it was something he needed to do to conduct business for the municipality.”
Pitts said he sent a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil and Baillie looking for an apology.
“I think Mr. Carroll is deserving of an apology,” said Pitts. “He was brought into this through no fault of his own. This is the problem we have with all of this ruckus. People are firing off with accusations even before they even ask for the information that is relevant to the situation.”
Pitts said he stands behind the actions of council and staff.
Last month, the Inverness MLA came under fire for comments made in the legislature while questioning the reimbursements of tickets for a Liberal fundraising dinner in mid-2014 to Richmond Municipal Councillors, which is the subject of an investigation by Elections Nova Scotia. Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson took issue with MacMaster’s characterization of the Cape Breton-Richmond Liberal Association as a “mafia.”