AMHERST – Rhonda Kelly is asking Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal to quash an order she repay the province more than $97,000 in restitution.
Kelly’s lawyer, Patrick Hurley, appeared before the court on Jan. 22 to argue that the restitution order, part of the former CRDA executive director’s June sentencing for fraud, is inappropriate because she didn’t personally benefit from the crime and that the province wasn’t a victim.
The executive director of the former Cumberland Regional Development Authority received eight months house arrest followed by four months of abiding by a curfew after pleading guilty in April 2017 of causing Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to act upon a forged document. Nine other charges were dismissed.
Hurley said the province didn’t submit a victim impact statement during the sentencing phase.
Senior Crown lawyer Jim Gumpert told the court the province would not have supplied the money to the development agency without Kelly’s documents, which were forged. He said Kelly continued to crimes over a two-year period to keep the money flowing.
It’s unknown when the court will make a decision.
Kelly’s sentencing last summer ended a seven-year story that began in 2010 when two CRDA employees were dismissed after voicing their concerns over some of the practices taking place in the government-funded organization.
An ombudsman’s report backed up their concerns calling for a forensic audit that was completed in 2013 by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Charges were laid against Kelly in 2016.