Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

An Ontario judge has delivered a blow to Sen. Mike Duffy in his bid for financial restitution over his dramatic and protracted suspension without pay five years ago.

Justice Sally Gomery said in a ruling Friday that the Senate’s decision to suspend Duffy is protected by parliamentary privilege, meaning that Duffy can’t take the Senate to court over its actions.

She is striking the Senate from Duffy’s lawsuit, which sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber, the RCMP and the federal government.

RELATED: Mike Duffy sues Senate, RCMP

Duffy is seeking damages in the wake of the high-profile investigation of his expense claims, which culminated in a trial where he was acquitted of 31 charges in April 2016.

He filed his claim in August 2017, claiming “an unprecedented abuse of power” when a majority of senators voted to suspend him without pay in November 2013, before any criminal charges were filed.

Gomery, in her ruling, says allowing a court to review the Senate’s decisions on Duffy would interfere in the upper chamber’s ability to function as an independent legislative body.

The Canadian Press

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