[MONCTON, NB] - A former Speaker of the New Brunswick legislature has been sentenced to a year of house arrest after pleading guilty to fraud over $5,000.
Frank Branch changed his plea to guilty during a court appearance Thursday in Moncton.
The former Liberal member for Nepisiguit was also ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the North Shore Forest Products Marketing Board, where he was manager from 1999 until 2005.
Other charges against the 68-year-old man, including extortion and breach of trust, were stayed Thursday.
Bathurst police began investigating the case in 2006 after receiving a complaint from the forest products commission, which oversees marketing boards in New Brunswick.
Branch was also ordered to serve two years' probation as part of a joint sentencing recommendation from the Crown and the defence.
(CTV, CJMO, The Canadian Press)