Documents obtained by Bramptonist reveal Patrick Brown spent nearly $300,000 of taxpayer money on office staff and other expenses in his final months as MPP — more than double other departing MPPs in the Ontario legislature.

A report from the Ontario Legislative Assembly’s finance department to review spending on for non-returning MPPs revealed that from April 1, when the fiscal spending year began through September 30, Brown spent almost a full year’s budget in just a few months.

Brown, who has always touted his fiscal conservatism over the Liberals, spent $206,956 for staffing, $53,271 and thousands more on other expenses, totaling $292,451. MPPs are allocated $299,000 per year.

Brown didn’t run in the June 7 election. He told The Star that the expenses he incurred on staffing were to cover severance payments for long-time staff, as well as mailouts of thank you cards and goodbye messages.

The CBC asked Brown to clarify why severance pay for staff terminated from his leader’s office during the 2017/18 fiscal year would have any impact on his 2018/19 budget, but he did not offer an explanation.

But documents revealed that Brown hired 5 new people after April 1, doubling his number of staff and bringing the count up to 10. Those 5 new staff had contracts running until voting day on June 7.

Sources also allege many staffers stayed on with the interim leader at the time Vic Fidelli so no severance would have been required for them.

Among his other expenses, Brown also spent $15,799 in rent for his constituency office, $53,271 for office operations and $16,426 on communications.

While the list obtained by Bramptonist is incomplete, it shows other non-returning MPPs spent much less. Liberal MPP Yvan Baker, the next highest spender on the list only used $124,766 of his budget.

After Doug Ford canceled regional chair races Brown decided to throw his hat in the ring to become mayor of Brampton and is currently battling against incumbent Linda Jeffrey for the city’s top job. It came as a surprise, as Brown has spent all of his political serving in Barrie as a city councillor, MP and then MPP.

Sources – Toronto Star, CBC News

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