TORONTO -- A one-time top political aide has been sentenced to four months in jail for illegally destroying emails related to the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants.

In addition, David Livingston, chief of staff to ex-Liberal Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, will have to serve 12 months probation, including 100 hours of community service.

Livingston, 65, was found guilty in January of illegal computer use.

Ontario court Judge Timothy Lipson said what Livingston had done struck at the core of the democratic process.

Livingston was part of a plot to delete records related to the government's decision to cancel two gas plants ahead of the 2011 Ontario election.

Today's sentencing came just months before provincial voters cast judgment on McGuinty's successor, Kathleen Wynne.