British Columbia

Kash Heed's manager alleges $40K more in spending

The campaign manager for former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed claims there are even more campaign expenses in connection to Heed's overspending scandal than have been revealed, but Heed's lawyer denies the allegation.
Kash Heed was on track for a high-profile political career before the scandal broke. Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

A campaign manager for B.C.’s former Solicitor General says he knows of tens of thousands of dollars in still unreported election expenses in connection with Kash Heed’s 2009 election campaign.

Barinder Sall, who pleaded guilty Friday to violating laws covering campaign spending and to misleading investigators, has told CBC news in an exclusive interview that close to $40,000 might not have been properly accounted for in Heed’s campaign.

Sall and printer Dinesh Khanna were charged after anonymous pamphlets were distributed in the Vancouver-Fraserview riding attacking Heed's NDP opponent.

A provincial court judge in Vancouver fined Sall $15,000 and placed him on probation for a year, while Khanna was fined $6,000 and given three months probation.

Heed was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident but was fined $8,000 last month for overspending about $5,500 dollars in his successful campaign.

'Others' involved

In addition to the unreported overspending, Sall told CBC News that others were involved have not owned up to their roles in the scandal, which cost Heed his cabinet post.

"I do apologize for my actions and my behaviour," said Sall. "I have  accepted full responsibility for my actions and errors. But I did not act alone."

But Sall declined to name who he was referring to.

In an interview with CBC News reporter Eric Rankin broadcast after Friday’s court appearance, Sall claimed that the Heed campaign violated spending limits by far more than has been reported.

"How much do you think is not accounted for in the election spending," Rankin asked Sal.

"I would say, close to $40,000," Sall replied.

"Not the $5,500 dollars?"

"No, not at all," said Sall.

Heed's lawyer denies claims

Sall claimed some of that money was improperly labelled "pre-election expenses," although he can't produce receipts to support his allegations.

The special prosecutor investigating the case concluded, "there is no reliable, independent evidence proving Heed knew of, or could with reasonable diligence have learned of, any unreported election expenses."

Heed's lawyer, David Gruber, dismissed Sall's claims Friday.

"There was a thorough investigation; there was a forensic audit; a police investigation, and they've shown nothing other than the $5,500 over spending which Mr. Heed has dealt with," said Gruber.

Sall also told CBC News that two people — Heed's financial officer Satpal Johal and campaign contributor Peter Dhillon — were incorrectly linked to the scandal.

"I sincerely apologize for the damage my actions have caused their reputations," said Sall.

With files from the CBC's Eric Rankin