Canada

NDP newspaper pleads guilty in bingo scandal

The provincial NDP newspaper has admitted its role in the Nanaimo bingo scandal.

Democrat Publications Limited has pleaded guilty to two charges of running a lottery without making the required donations to charity.

NDP president Bruce Ralston says the party deeply regrets the actions.

It's the end of another chapter in the bingo scandal.

The company that publishes the NDP newspaper has admitted receiving illegal lottery revenues.

It goes back to 1983 and 84. Party officials ran a pair of raffles that were supposed to raise money for something called the Nanaimo community health services charities society.

But - as a forensic audit a decade later pointed out - the charity never existed. The money - $56,000 dollars - went instead to Democrat Publications.

The current NDP president, Bruce Ralston, says officials at the time were misled by former MLA Dave Stupich.

Stupich pleaded guilty earlier this year to fraud and running an illegal lottery.

Ralston says the party deeply regrets his actions...and the guilty plea today reflects that.

"It's painful... not a particularly a proud moment for the NDP... but we have apologized various premiers have apologized..."

Meanwhile, the man who blew the whistle on the bingo scandal, Jacques Carpentier, says he's pleased with the outcome.

" I'm glad it's over this soon. I didn't think we should spend more money on trials for issues that are so clear cut."

The provincial NDP has already repaid with interest the money received by Democrat Publications. Dave Stupich has been sentenced to two years of electronic monitoring. And the public inquiry into the Bingo Scandal is set to continue.