Kenneth Robar, the Sooke resident who ran as a candidate in the Sept. 28 municipal byelection, could be facing legal problems as a result of his run for office.
Robar failed to file his campaign finance disclosure, a statement that under the provisions of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act was required within 90 days of the election.
That failure has already resulted in Robar being slapped with a late filing fee of $500.
But the ultimate consequences of not filing could be far more serious.
According to Elections B.C., it’s an offence to fail to file a disclosure statement and a candidate who fails to file is liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and or imprisonment of up to two years.
The situation with Robar has left Sherry Thompson of the Sooke Shelter Society wondering what can be done to resolve the situation.
“I’ve reached out but we can’t seem to locate Kenneth (Robar). The last we heard he was in Victoria, and had no intention of returning to Sooke,” Thompson said.
Robar’s byelection candidacy has already had some strange twists.
The first candidate to enter the race, he did not run any noticeable campaign and in August was reported as a missing person after he disappeared during an outing to SEAPARC Leisure Complex with friends.
He was located by the RCMP several days later in Ontario.
Robar returned to Sooke in September, and said he no longer was interested in running in the byelection. By then it was too late for him to formally withdraw his name from the ballot, and he was still required by law to file the financial statement.
Melanie Hull, a spokesperson for Elections B.C., said the situation could still be resolved.
“The possible penalties are applicable upon conviction (by the Criminal Justice branch at the Ministry of the Attorney General). Our investigation team will look into the matter and may prepare a report for the CJB who, in turn, would determine whether or not charges are warranted based on whether or not they are in the public interest and the likelihood of conviction,” said Hull.
“Wherever possible, we look for ways to achieve compliance through education and working with candidates to meet the requirements. We are hopeful to do so in this case.”