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Ex-NSW MP repays $50k in illegal donations

AAP logoAAP 10/01/2017

Former Liberal MP Tim Owen has repaid $50,000 in political donations after a NSW Electoral Commission investigation found they were illegal.

The investigation was triggered by the Independent Commission Against Corruption's (ICAC) damning Operation Spicer into alleged developer donations to the NSW Liberal party before the 2011 state election.

The electoral commission on Monday revealed that its investigation found that nine unlawful donations totalling $84,137.60 were made to benefit Mr Owen.

This included $20,000 in cash donations made to the former Newcastle MP's campaign director Hugh Thomson.

The donations were deemed unlawful as they were from prohibited donors, above the donations cap and classified as indirect campaign contributions.

Mr Owen failed to declare all the political donations as required by law, and also made a false statement on his 2011/12 requisite declaration in attesting that he had disclosed all political donations, the electoral commission said in a statement.

"On 22 December 2016, Mr Owen paid $50,000 of the $64,047.60 without admission," it said.

"The NSWEC accepted this payment in full satisfaction and will not pursue this matter further".

Mr Owen was elected to parliament in the 2011 election but resigned after being drawn into ICAC's Operation Spicer in August 2014.

The commission said it had now concluded its investigations in all matters which arose from the ICAC investigation and had recovered a total of $666,992 in unlawful donations.

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