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Charges laid against senior Heed campaign staff

Former solicitor general Kash Heed's financial agent and campaign manager are among three people charged with offenses related to brochures distributed during last year's provincial election. No charges have been laid against Heed.

“The investigation centred on the production, distribution and financing of three election pamphlets, and included an examination of the election financing report filed on behalf of Kash Heed,” said an announcement from the criminal justice branch.

Heed campaign manager Barinder Sall received three charges under the election act and three under the criminal code. Dinesh Khanna, the owner of a mailing company has been charged three times under the election act and twice under the criminal code. And Heed financial agent Satpal Johl was charged with one count under the election act.

“On the evidence presented to the Special Prosecutor, there is no evidence that Mr. Heed was either involved in the production of the pamphlets or had direct knowledge of the pamphlets or the allegedly fraudulent [advertising sponsor form],” the announcement said.

Heed said he was pleased to be exonerated, but surprised and disappointed to learn key members of his campaign team had been charged. “I've said from the start I was confident I did nothing wrong,” said Heed, adding that it's up to premier Gordon Campbell whether or not to reappoint him to cabinet.

These are serious charges against two senior members of Heed's campaign team, said NDP critic Mike Farnworth. “I think the court case needs to play itself out and we need to hear what the results are in the court case before any consideration is given to Mr. Heed going back to cabinet,” he said.

Heed may still lose his seat if it turns out the brochures should have counted as an election expense and including them pushes the campaign over the spending limit, he said.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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