BRITISH COLUMBIA

Tom Gaglardi, Dallas Stars Owner, Fined $140K For Damaging B.C. Fish Habitat

12/12/2014 04:57 EST | Updated 02/11/2015 05:59 EST
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 21: Owner, Tom Gaglardi of the Dallas Stars with Jim Lites and Joe Nieuwendyk at American Airlines Center on November 21, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - The owner of two hockey teams including the Dallas Stars has been fined $140,000 for polluting a lake during renovations of his vacation property in Kamloops, B.C.

Tom Gaglardi, 47, was found guilty of two counts of harmful alteration of a fish habitat for work done in 2010.

Gaglardi also owns the WHL's Kamloops Blazers and heads up Northland Properties, which was convicted on the same charges. His father, Robert Gaglardi, was found not guilty.

Gaglardi refused to comment after sentencing on Friday. Rob Toor, lawyer for Northland Properties, said it's too early to say whether an appeal will be filed.

"We're just going to review the decision and look at our options," he said.

During the trial earlier this year, court heard the Gaglardi family home, known as "Tom's Shack," was undergoing extensive renovations.

The charges stem from riprap destroyed by workers taking orders from Gaglardi in the construction of a boat ramp and shoreline trees he ordered removed from the property.

"There was an element of wilfulness here, a desire to get the job done and seek forgiveness later," provincial court Judge Stephen Harrison said in handing down the fine.

Harrison also quoted an expert in salmon habitats, who testified at trial that the work changed the shoreline on Gaglardi's property "from a very good fish habitat to a moonscape."

Former Northland employee and Crown witness Jim Parks said he was ordered to destroy documents and throw his computer hard drive in the lake when federal investigators began looking into alleged environmental improprieties at the property.

Throughout the trial, Gaglardi wrote in his notebook, alternating between notes on the proceedings, Northland business and what appeared to be line combinations for the Dallas Stars. He also had to be told repeatedly by sheriffs to turn off his iPhone, which, at one point, he concealed in a book.

Court heard it will take more than 40 years to restore the salmon habitat.

"I wanted to express my apologies for what transpired," Gaglardi told the court.

The sentence was broken down so that Gaglardi was fined a total of $10,000. Northland was also fined $10,000. In addition, both Gaglardi and Northland were ordered to pay $60,000 each to the B.C. Conservation Foundation.

The Crown sought a fine of $300,000 while Gaglardi's lawyer called for a fine of $50,000 to $75,000. (Kamloops This Week)

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