Reg Bowers, the former campaign manager for Peter Penashue, made a first appearance Tuesday in a Labrador courtroom on three charges of breaking the Elections Act while getting Penashue elected.

"The thing is still there," said Bowers, who appeared in court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, referring to the investigation launched soon after the 2011 election.

"It's hanging over my head. It's almost three years now and it's tough going."

Bowers, who is now a town councillor in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was charged in May after a lengthy investigation launched after the 2011 federal election.

Bowers is accused of accepting illegal campaign contributions and discounted airfares for Penashue's campaign, through his role as Penashue's official agent.

Penashue scored an upset in the election for the federal Conservatives, taking the traditional Liberal riding. Penashue, though, resigned while under fire and subsequently lost the byelection that was called in order to clear the air.

Bowers' lawyer, former Newfoundland and Labrador cabinet minister Jerome Kennedy, joined Tuesday's court proceeding via teleconference.

Bowers is expected to enter a plea when the case is called again Aug. 5.

In the meantime, Bowers said he plans to continue in his role as a town councillor.