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Complaint about judge's expenses turned over to inquiry lawyer

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The Canadian Judicial Council said today a complaint about embattled judge Lori Douglas’ expenses is now in the hands of inquiry lawyer Suzanne Côté.

The complaint was filed last spring by Manitoba’s Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, and it may get rolled into the main complaint before the CJC concerning nude photos of Douglas posted online by her husband.

That complaint, which has been before th CJC for three years, is stalled by federal court proceedings.

"Ms. Côté has asked for a copy of Chief Justice Joyal's letter to the council, in order to consider whether the issues relating to Associate Chief Justice Douglas' expenses should be explored within the scope of the ongoing inquiry," the judicial council said in a release today.

"At this time, no other steps are being taken by the council in relation to the issues raised by Chief Justice Joyal. From an administrative perspective, the matter remains pending."

Joyal filed his complaint to the council concerning about $6,400 in expenses Douglas filed after he had relieved her of her duties pending the outcome of sexual harassment complaint made against her three years ago.

Douglas' lawyer Sheila Block said at the time the expenses had been approved by the commissioner for federal judicial affairs, an independent office that provides personnel services to all federally appointed judges.

"The chief justice (Joyal) has no role in or access to another judge's expenses. It is entirely a matter between the judge and the commissioner for federal judicial affairs."

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