OTTAWA, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The head of the Royal Canadian Mint has resigned in the midst of reports on lavish expense account spending.
David Dingwall reportedly spent $747,000 Canadian ($638,000 U.S.) in a single year on such things as trips, fine dining and private club fees, the Toronto Sun reported.
In a statement, Dingwall said he had been planning to leave the job in a few months and decided to move up the schedule because the publicity was hurting the Mint. He said he had asked the board of directors to order an independent review of his spending.
Dingwall was appointed in 2003 by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien for a five-year term.
Prime Minister Paul Martin said Dingwall, a former cabinet minister and member of Parliament, was a successful president of the Mint, returning it to profitability.
But opposition leaders were scathing.
"Can the prime minister tell us why this Liberal culture of waste and scandal is only stopped once it is actually exposed publicly?" Conservative leader Stephen Harper asked.
The Toronto Globe and Mail reported officials are considering giving a severance package -- a report that touched off more outrage among opposition parties.