His conscience has apparently not kicked in so far, and peer pressure hasn’t worked. MLA Trevor Zinck, amazingly, is having a hard time seeing he’s worn out his welcome.
After stretching out his trial over false expense claims for several days, the Independent MLA, formerly with the NDP, saw the writing on the wall and pleaded guilty Monday to breach of trust and fraud over $5,000.
Now the spotlight is on the political future for the member for Dartmouth North. Incredibly, Zinck said after his plea he would still like to serve. But, now under pressure, he is mulling over his options, saying he needs to consult various people before an ultimate decision.
In the meantime, the premier is talking of possibly recalling the legislature to expel him.
Four MLAs were charged following the original report in 2009 of this spending scandal. Zinck admitted Monday to submitting claims for money he hadn’t delivered to various groups. He’s said he’ll provide more detailed explanations about his actions at the time of his sentencing, Aug. 7, but it’s hard to imagine anything he has to say would restore the public’s confidence.
We saw varying degrees of remorse – and relative lack thereof – from the other three politicians already convicted. A couple of them appeared contrite, as if the realization had sunk in that they had betrayed the public trust. In one instance, from Russell MacKinnon, we heard the cavalier response that he’d been convicted on only one of the charges – as though that somehow lessened his guilt.
Now the public is being treated to another sideshow of a sitting member who has yet to acknowledge the gravity of taking advantage of the public while supposedly representing them.
Surely Zinck can’t possibly believe he has a ghost of a chance of regaining his seat in an election.
It would be best to stop wasting the public’s time, along with the resources of the legislature, and face reality. To do any less rubs in the insult that much more.