Donation to Tories from Katz executive was illegal

The CFO of the Katz Group will be sent a reprimand letter by the chief electoral officer for donating to the provincial Tories when he wasn't a resident of Alberta

Ontario resident Paul Maraccio can't make political donations in Alberta

Elections Alberta was asked to investigate donations made by Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz, his family and employees during last year's provincial election. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The CFO of the Katz Group of Companies will be sent a reprimand letter by the chief electoral officer for donating to the provincial Progressive Conservative Party when he wasn’t a resident of Alberta.

Paul Marcaccio contributed $25,000 to the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta during last year's provincial electin, as part of a $430,000 bank draft that was sent to the provincial Tories through  Katz Group Properties Inc. 

The companies are owned by Edmonton Oilers’ owner Daryl Katz.

Although Marcaccio splits his working time equally between Edmonton and Toronto, his drivers license and health card are from Ontario.

Acting Chief Electoral Officer Lori McKee-Jeske writes that Marcaccio made an error, "believing in good faith that he could contribute."

Marcaccio has been issued a letter of reprimand, which McKee-Jeske believes will have "the required deterrent effect."  He will face no other penalties.

The PCAA voluntarily returned the contribution, according to Elections Alberta.

The investigation into the donations was launched last October after the leaders of the Wildrose and Alberta NDP parties filed complaints with the chief electoral officer.

Documents from Elections Alberta showed that Katz, members of his family, his executives and his company were issued receipts for $25,000 or $30,000.

However, the chief electoral officer was asked to investigate whether that donation was made in a single $430,000 cheque, which is a breach of Alberta election financing laws.

At the time, the province was being asked to contribute $100 million in funding for the new arena for the Oilers in downtown Edmonton.

The rest of the chief electoral officer’s decision on the donations will be released on Wednesday, with the permission of the parties involved.

However, the government has promised to make all findings public.