A B.C. Supreme Court judge has fined former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed $8,000 for violations of the provincial Election Act.

Chief Justice Robert Bauman could have forced a byelection for the violation but decided instead to allow Heed, a B.C. Liberal, to keep his seat in the B.C. legislature.

Heed had admitted exceeding spending his $70,000 spending limit by $5,579 in the 2009 campaign, but said he did not know about the excess spending at the time and had left those details to his campaign staff.

The amount overspent was later corrected by the court to about $4,000. Fines in such cases are double the amount a candidate has gone over the limit.

"Responsibility for the conduct of the campaign rests ultimately with the candidate," Bauman wrote in his decision.

Heed issued a statement after the ruling.

"I accept the decision of the chief justice and I will abide by his ruling," Heed said.

The overspending involved an anonymous pamphlet that surfaced during the campaign, smearing the NDP candidate he was running against in the riding of Vancouver-Fraserview.

Brochure spending not declared

An RCMP investigation later determined the brochure had been produced by the Heed campaign but that the expenses for it were not declared.

Charges have been laid against two of Heed's campaign workers.

Two special prosecutors investigating the complaints against Heed had cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

Heed, a former West Vancouver police chief, was considered a star candidate for the Liberals in 2009, and was appointed solicitor general after the election win in his first foray into politics.

He was forced to resign less than a year later when the police investigation into his campaign spending became public.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of the story stated that Heed's fine was more than $11,000, based on Heed's own accounting of his overspending.
    Aug 31, 2011 1:30 AM PT