11/05/2013 12:46 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST

Former Penticton Mayor turned MLA keeps promise to pay for byelection

PENTICTON, B.C. - Former Penticton mayor Dan Ashton's leap to provincial politics has cost him a lot of money, but it's a bill he says his conscience forced him to pay.

Ashton handed a $32,000 cheque to his former council on Monday, reimbursing it for the cost of a byelection needed to fill the mayor's chair after he stepped down.

Ashton was elected as the MLA for Penticton in the May provincial election and when he announced his bid for the seat, he also pledged to reimburse taxpayers for the municipal byelection, if he won.

Ashton served as Penticton's mayor from 2008 to 2013 and is one of several municipal politicians recently elected to the legislature, but he is the only one to pick up the tab for the resulting byelection.

In presenting the cheque, Ashton said his conscience would not allow him to impose a large bill on Penticton residents, whom he has represented as a councillor or mayor since 1999.

Mayor Gary Litke succeeded Ashton in the byelection held Sept. 7. (CKOR)