01/31/2012 08:15 EST | Updated 04/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Alberta town says it broke election law by paying for premier's dinner

REDCLIFF, Alta. - A southern Alberta town says it contravened election laws governing public agency donations to political parties.

Redcliff did an internal investigation after Elections Alberta requested municipalities review records dating back to 2004 to see if any of their officials attended Progressive Conservative party functions using government funds.

Town manager David Wolanski said Tuesday that seven town councillors attended a dinner hosted by former premier Ed Stelmach in Medicine Hat on Nov. 1, 2007.

Each councillor paid $225 for the dinner, then submitted the receipts to the town for reimbursement.

Alberta's chief electoral officer Brian Fjeldheim is currently investigating allegations that 10 Conservative riding associations either solicited or received illegal campaign funds.

Publicly funded bodies like school boards and municipalities have been barred since 2004 under the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act from contributing to political parties.

On Jan. 13, Catholic school officials in Medicine Hat admitted to illegally donating for years to Alberta's governing Progressive Conservative party.

Five school board members, including board chairman Peter Grad, attended Premier Alison Redford's Medicine Hat fundraising dinner on Oct. 20 using public money to pay for the $200 tickets.

(Medicine Hat News)