Dean, Dean, Dean (redux)

Do you hear the sound of that shovel hitting bedrock?

You have nowhere to go but up, big guy!

OTTAWA — Two donors to Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro’s 2008 election campaign have produced copies of cheques they say were reimbursements paid by a small electrical company owned by his cousin.

The cheques show the donors each received $1,050 from Deltro Electric Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., two days before they made $1,000 donations to Del Mastro’s electoral district association in Peterborough.

The donors also produced copies of the personal cheques they sent to the riding association in September 2008.

The cheques could be key pieces of evidence should Elections Canada expand its ongoing investigation of Dean Del Mastro’s 2008 campaign expenses to the donations that funded them.

Under the Elections Act, it is a serious offence to conceal the real source of donations to an election campaign.

Deltro owner David Del Mastro has denied issuing any reimbursements to his cousin’s campaign contributors and says he only asked people to give voluntarily.

One of the cheques obtained by the Citizen is payable to a former Deltro employee who, earlier this month, signed a statutory declaration describing how Deltro staff were asked to enlist family and friends in the alleged reimbursement scheme.

David Del Mastro “advised me at that time that he wanted to make a large monetary donation to the re-election campaign of his cousin, Dean Del Mastro Member of Parliament,” the statement said.

“My employer assured me that if I would do so, my employer would cause his company, Deltro Electric Ltd. to reimburse me for the full sum of $1,000, plus a further bonus of $50, and that I would receive an income tax receipt for the donation.”

The alleged scheme was intended to circumvent the limit on political donations, the former employee said. The Conservative government lowered the limit to $1,100 through its 2006 centrepiece ethics legislation, the Federal Accountability Act.

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