TORONTO -- The former president of a Conservative riding association in Hamilton has been charged in connection with the theft of more than $30,000 that was meant to be returned to the federal party.

Police said they launched an investigation in March 2019 after receiving reports of “accounting irregularities” within the Hamilton Centre riding association following the 2015 election.

“The former president of the association is believed to have misappropriated over $30,000.00 that had been refunded to the Conservatives by Elections Canada,” investigators said in a news release issued Friday.

On Thursday, David Dawson, 67, was arrested in connection with the incident. He has been charged with fraud over $5,000, theft by conversion and theft by person required to account.

He was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.