Crown seeks jail time for former MP Del Mastro in election overspending case

A Crown prosecutor is asking a judge to sentence former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro to a minimum of nine to 12 months behind bars in his election overspending case.

LINDSAY, Ont. — A Crown prosecutor is asking a judge to sentence former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro to a minimum of nine to 12 months behind bars in his election overspending case.

Crown lawyer Tom Lemon tells a sentencing hearing in Lindsay, Ont., that anything less than that would fail to properly denounce the former MP’s conduct.

Lemon is also asking for a compensation order that would require Del Mastro to pay $10,000 to the Peterborough Conservative Party Electoral District Association.

Del Mastro, a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was convicted last fall of violating the Canada Elections Act during the 2008 election. He has since resigned his House of Commons seat.

His sentencing hearing was supposed to take place last month, but it was postponed after his lawyer made an application to have a mistrial declared in the case.

Justice Lisa Cameron, who has presided over Del Mastro’s trial, dismissed that application after hearing submissions from all sides.

Cameron says there was no fresh evidence in the case — nor any new laws that have come into effect since her judgment — to warrant re-opening the case.

Del Mastro was found guilty of exceeding spending limits, failing to report a personal contribution of $21,000 to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document.

He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine on each of the three convictions.

Del Mastro sat with a sombre look on his face as sentencing arguments in his case got underway. His wife and baby daughter accompanied him to court.