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Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau lands new gig at Ottawa strip joint

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OTTAWA - Patrick Brazeau has gone from sitting in the Senate to helping run a strip club.

The suspended senator, who faces criminal charges in connection with the expense scandal that roiled the august upper chamber last year, is now working as a manager at an Ottawa strip joint.

Brazeau has been spotted inside the Barefax Gentlemen's Club in recent days, but he declined Wednesday to speak to reporters camped outside the establishment who trailed him inside to the door of his office.

Carmelina Bentivoglio, whose family owns the club, said Brazeau interviewed for a job as a day manager two weeks ago. He'll be responsible for "scheduling, hiring, firing, inventory — just like any other job," she said.

He'll oversee between 25 and 30 employees in his new job, which he started Monday.

"He was looking for a job, was speaking with my family member. He knew that I was looking for somebody," Bentivoglio said over the din of a pulsing pop-music beat.

"So it just kind of landed on us, really. That was it."

Brazeau is on three months' probation, like any new hire, she said. And as far as special skills he might bring to the operation? "Probably public speaking," Bentivoglio said. "He probably will be good with customers."

Working at the Barefax is the latest in a string of odd jobs for Brazeau since he was suspended from the Senate last fall.

He took to Twitter to find work and tried his hand as a columnist for the Halifax version of Frank magazine, a separate entity from the Ottawa publication of the same name that first reported on Brazeau's new job.

But the magazine canned him after one-and-a-half columns, prompting an apology from the editor for subjecting readers to Brazeau's "narcissistic ramblings."

Brazeau has been without a steady Senate paycheque since his suspension in November. Prior to that, his pay had been docked to recover more than $48,000 in inappropriate housing and travel expenses.

Earlier this month, the Mounties charged Brazeau and former senator Mac Harb with one count each of fraud and breach of trust in relation to their travel and living expense claims.

The Mounties allege that Brazeau fraudulently claimed his father's home in Maniwaki, Que., as his primary residence, although he was rarely seen there and lived primarily just across the river from Ottawa in Gatineau, Que.

Recent media reports also suggest Brazeau and his estranged wife have been missing mortgage and loan payments and may now face losing their house in Gatineau.

The disgraced senator is also facing charges of assault and sexual assault as a result of an incident last February.

Follow @steve_rennie and @BMakuch on Twitter

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