BRITISH COLUMBIA
09/08/2014 07:26 EDT | Updated 11/08/2014 05:59 EST

Brian Bonney, Mark Robertson Charged Under The Elections Act

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Brian Bonney and Mark Robertson have each been charged with three offences under the Elections Act in relation to election contributions and expenses.

Bonney is the former B.C. government's communications director. Robertson worked for the Liberal party as the director of field operations.

Elections BC says the charges each carry a potential fine of up to $10,000 and/or a year in jail, although a spokesperson said no one has ever yet been jailed in B.C. under those charges.

According to the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch, the charges arise out of conduct alleged to have occurred during the Port Moody-Coquitlam provincial by-election in 2012.

Documents leaked to CBC News by the NDP at the time included emails between a number of B.C. Liberals from their private accounts in October 2011, and suggested the existence of a taxpayer-funded "Port Moody 'Swing Riding' Team" campaign team.​

Vancouver criminal lawyer David Butcher was appointed by the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch to act as an independent special prosecutor in the case.

The investigation into the by-election followed the provincial Review of the Draft Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan which came to be known as the ethic outreach scandal.

Several top B.C. Liberal staff members were forced to resign because of their role in the scandal.

The B.C. Liberal party paid $70,000 back to government to compensate to cover Brian Bonney's salary for doing party work on taxpayer time.

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