The premier’s high-powered close advisor, cabinet secretary and Usher of the Black Rod has been quietly removed from his top government post after the expense scandals of senior government ministers.
Ministers Ken Krawetz and June Draude enjoyed luxury chauffeurs and personal dinners with friends overseas while the cost was billed to taxpayers through cabinet secretary Rick Mantey. In May, the premier said he found no other inappropriate expenses associated with Mantey and had decided on only a short probation for his close and long-serving advisor.
But, Mantey has been removed from his senior posts, despite the premier’s praise for Mantey’s work as Saskatchewan’s representative in other countries and directly to Buckingham Palace just weeks ago.
“The public deserves to know why a close advisor of Mr. Wall and one of the highest earners in government was quietly removed from his job,” said Trent Wotherspoon, Deputy Leader of the Opposition. “Were other inappropriate expenses or behavior discovered?”
Wotherspoon said taxpayers have a reason to distrust the government in the area of entitlement and travel spending after a series of scandals were revealed this spring – and the secrecy surrounding the change to Mantey's role raises concern.
“Ultimately, it was ministers in Mr. Wall’s cabinet who has been living as if money is no object while taxpayers pick up the bill,” said Wotherspoon of Mantey taking the fall. “Ministers repeatedly got into luxury chauffeured limousines – even for shopping and sightseeing trips. They took friends and family on trips while claiming it was official business and stayed at posh hotels overseas. They knew they were sending the bill to taxpayers, yet defended themselves by saying they never asked how much these things cost.
“The creeping sense of entitlement is disturbing.”
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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus
- Rick Mantey has held one of the most senior positions in Saskatchewan’s government since Day 1 of the Sask. Party government. His annual salary, according to government documents, in 2009 was $196,164.
- In spring 2014, the Opposition uncovered the fact that Mantey had helped senior cabinet minister and Sask. Party founder June Draude claim inappropriate expenses after a trip the two of them took with a friend and a family member of Draude’s to Accra, Ghana and London, United Kingdom. Expenses included $6,300 for a luxury chauffeured limousine, a $200 personal lunch falsely called a business meeting and travel visas for Druade’s close friend and an adult family member. The total bill Draude and Mantey charged taxpayers was about $19,000.
- It was then revealed that a luxury limousine was also used by founding Sask. Party member, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Ken Krawetz and Mantey in London.
- In May, Premier Brad Wall revealed that Mantey would be on probation for six months for his part in the expenses he helped Wall’s cabinet charge to taxpayers.
- On May 7, under questioning by Opposition Leader Cam Broten, Wall said he would still call on Mantey to perform the duties associated with Mantey’s role as the liaison to Buckingham Palace, and when asked if there were other inappropriate items found on Mantey’s expenses, Wall said, “I’m advised, Mr. Chairman, that to the knowledge of senior official and to my knowledge, there was nothing counter to policy or regulations in the government.” However, Wall refused to table Mantey’s expense claims that day.