A trio of recent decisions has vindicated certain elected representatives. Two have been decided in the favour of the accused while a third has upheld an earlier decision.
First, The Mayor of Richmond Hill was cleared of a conflict of interest accusation leveled at him by a political rival.
Mayor Dave Barrow announced his court victory at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon:
“Today’s court decision confirms what the facts have always shown, that there was clearly no conflict of interest and no basis to substantiate that claim,” he told The Liberal, later. "Unfortunately, this ill-considered and unwarranted action’s only purpose was to attempt to discredit my reputation among residents while diverting attention away from the issues of importance."
Now does this sound familiar? A political rival, by bringing conflict of interest charges against an elected official, hoped to cast the mayor's integrity in doubt. The judge saw right through the attempt and completely vindicated the mayor. Meanwhile, the man who brought forth the lawsuit,
Sridhar Methuku, who put his name on the ballot in early February, withdrew from the race this morning, in advance of a judicial decision expected later today, and just hours before the final close of nominations according to an article in a local newspaper.
Closer to home, regional councillors Andy Petrowski and Selena Volpatti were also cleared of conflict of interest charges brought to the integrity commissioner of the region. Again, the charges were brought against Petrowski by a defeated political rival.
In his statement, Petrowski, who has ruffled quite a few feathers at regional council said:
“I’m pleased the integrity commissioner did the right thing and
dismissed it,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s another example of the same
old political gang using taxpayer money to go after people who don’t
agree with them. Obviously, over the last four years I’ve said and done
things they don’t agree with, so they resort to integrity commissioners
to go after me."
With that in mind, we now turn to Fort Erie and the on-going dust-up over the firing of the town solicitor. Lesley North is unable to let it go and continued her quest to have all the documents surrounding the firing made public so that she could presumably prove conflict of interest on the part of four councillors who are currently charged with conflict of interest in Superior Court by former councillor Tim Whitfield (at the behest of Mayor Doug Martin and EDTC GM Jim Thibert according to the cross-examinations of Councillor Rick Shular, Stephen Passero and even Tim Whitfield himself.) Like the cases against the mayor of Richmond Hill and the two regional councillors, this lawsuit is just a vicious attempt to discredit the four who are running in the current municipal elections.
Well, the Freedom of Information adjudicator has thrown out an appeal filed by Ms. North. Those documents that are currently confidential shall remain confidential. Sorry, Lesley. Best you get back to saving the Kinsmen Pool with your good buddy Stephen Passero (Bwah!) At least it is a productive use of your time and, judging from the atmosphere on Jarvis Street on Saturday afternoon, you must have a lot of time on your hands. Deserted and ignored, Jarvis Street is a far cry from its previous glory days. Whose fault is that? Certainly not the current council as the decline has been going on for years and it seems nearly complete as far as business and tourism go. Even the Fry Truck was lonely looking.
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