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MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

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MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  Angelique on Wed 9 Feb - 13:06

A Labour MP accused of fiddling his expenses said people thought he was having an affair with his office manager because she was so highly paid, a court has heard.



Jim Devine Photo: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER


By Caroline Gammell 2:31PM GMT 07 Feb 2011

Jim Devine employed Marion Kinley to work in his office in Livingston, west Lothian, where he was elected as an MP in 2005.
The pair fell out in 2008 over his expenses forms and she ended up taking him to a tribunal, Southwark Crown Court was told.
It was Miss Kinley he subsequently blamed for submitting fake cleaning invoices on his behalf and forging his signature, the court has already heard.
Mr Devine, 57, is alleged to have falsely claimed more than £8,000 for cleaning and printing services between March 2008 and May 2009.
Giving evidence today, the former Scottish MP said he was simply claiming for costs he had already incurred but had not realised previously that he could claim.
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Expenses: former MP 'going into a dark place' 07 Feb 2011
The former psychiatric nurse told the jury he was given a series of blank receipts by Tom O’Donnell, the landlord of his local pub who also ran a cleaning company.
He said Mr O’Donnell had arranged for a Polish cleaner to come to his one bedroom flat in Elephant and Castle, south east London, to tidy the house and iron.
However, the landlord has already told the jury he only gave Mr Devine one receipt and was “surprised” to see five more submitted in his name over the next year.
Today, further details emerged of Mr Devine’s complex system of expense claims.
Mr Devine replaced Robin Cook as the MP for Livingston in September 2005 after the latter’s sudden death that year.
With a main home in Livingston, he nominated his flat in London as his second home and claimed mortgage interest payments, as well as other costs.
Miss Kinley, who worked for Mr Devine for 15 years during his time at Unison, became a member of his parliamentary staff in 2006.
She received a salary of £35,000 a year and he considered her a close friend.
“My son got married and she was one of only three or four guests I was allowed to bring; she was there with her partner,” he said.
“A lot of people did think we were having a relationship, I would say that relationship was very, very good.”
When asked by his counsel Gavin Millar QC whether they were having an affair, he insisted “No, no.”
Mr Devine said at the end of 2007 he started receiving inquiries from journalists about his expenses claims – which had previously been filled out by Miss Kinley.
He said: “They asked why I had the highest paid office manager – one thought we were having a relationship which we weren't.
“They seemed to have specific information about claims that had been made.”
Mr Devine said he grew suspicious of Miss Kinley and when he checked his expenses claims, he claimed she had paid herself £1,000 in overtime and £4,300 as a bonus.
“I was astonished at what I found,” he said.
Mr Devine said he confronted her and she then went off sick for six months before resigning.
She subsequently took him to an employment tribunal, the court heard.
Turning to the two charges of false accounting which he denies, Mr Devine said he employed a cleaner for two and a half years before he realised he was entitled to claim back the expense.
“It wasn’t until 2008 that I found out I could claim for it,” he said.
By then, he had accrued between £1,500 and £2,000 in cleaning costs as he had been paying between £40 and £80 a month, he said.
“Someone in the Fees Office told me that I couldn’t claim for back years, but I could claim in that year’s expenses, provided I didn’t go over budget.”
Mr Devine said he decided he would only claim for half of what he had spent, the court heard.

Other links to this court case with more information:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/8301234/MPs-expenses-former-Labour-MP-Jim-Devine-fiddled-stationery-orders.html

This is with info from Jennifer McCrea - poor thing - hung to dry me thinks!
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/labour-mps-expenses/8303509/MP-told-Jim-Devine-to-get-a-friendly-printer-to-make-expenses-receipts.html

MP 'told Jim Devine to get a 'friendly printer' to make expenses receipts'
A Labour MP accused of fraud over his parliamentary expenses claims a senior colleague told him to get a “friendly printer” to provide false invoices, a court heard.

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But the most interesting one in The Daily Telegraph - Tuesday February 8th 2011

I can't get the link for this one for some reason so I will type it out:

InBrief

I'm no 'grass' says expenses case MP


A Labour MP accused of fiddling his expenses refused to name a female employee who he claimed he had paid using "fake" printing receipts, because she was a benefit cheat and he did not want to get her into trouble.

Jim Devine told Southwark Crown Court: "I come from a community where my dad was a miner - you don't grass." He denies false accounting. The trial continues.














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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  Chris on Wed 9 Feb - 17:22

I have been trying to follow this case via the newspaper reports and must say I am totally confused as to exactly what his defence is. As far as I can gather he claims he got invoices from a printer for services not made to shift money from one parliamentary budget to another yet claims he id nothing wrong in submitting claims for expenses not incurred. Add to that his "Polish cleaner" (who apparently is untraceable) used blank invoices from someone who had previously done work for him to invoice him. Everyone who he claims "advised" him deny all knowledge of the alleged advice. And on top of all that he condones a benefit cheat.

The calibre of some of our MPs leaves a lot to be desired.

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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  malena stool on Wed 9 Feb - 23:55

Chris wrote:I have been trying to follow this case via the newspaper reports and must say I am totally confused as to exactly what his defence is. As far as I can gather he claims he got invoices from a printer for services not made to shift money from one parliamentary budget to another yet claims he id nothing wrong in submitting claims for expenses not incurred. Add to that his "Polish cleaner" (who apparently is untraceable) used blank invoices from someone who had previously done work for him to invoice him. Everyone who he claims "advised" him deny all knowledge of the alleged advice. And on top of all that he condones a benefit cheat.

The calibre of some of our MPs leaves a lot to be desired.
Methinks their calibre deserves a bullet of an equal calibre, Chris.

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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  Chris on Thu 10 Feb - 12:04

Looks like Devine could be going down and it didn't take the jury long to find him guilty. Sentencing in four weeks. The CPS are doing well with 4 out of 4 guilty verdicts (2 pleading guilty).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12403945


ETA Eric Illsley is in court this afternoon for sentencing too.


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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  fred on Thu 10 Feb - 12:57

Jim Devine told Southwark Crown Court: "I come from a community where my dad was a miner - you don't grass." He denies false accounti

So it's o.k. to lie if you are an MP?

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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  malena stool on Thu 10 Feb - 22:03

fred wrote:
Jim Devine told Southwark Crown Court: "I come from a community where my dad was a miner - you don't grass." He denies false accounti

So it's o.k. to lie if you are an MP?
They are so well practiced at lying it comes naturally to them, fred.
Plus of course they are thick skinned degenerates with no idea of the meaning of shame, honesty or respect.

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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

Post  Guest on Fri 11 Feb - 2:17

malena stool wrote:
fred wrote:
Jim Devine told Southwark Crown Court: "I come from a community where my dad was a miner - you don't grass." He denies false accounti

So it's o.k. to lie if you are an MP?
They are so well practiced at lying it comes naturally to them, fred.
Plus of course they are thick skinned degenerates with no idea of the meaning of shame, honesty or respect.

so thats clarence's next gig lined up. then

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Re: MPs' expenses trial: Jim Devine denies affair with office manager who he claims forged his signature

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