A sure sign of desperation has emerged in the ongoing effort to destroy the reputations of four duly-elected Fort Erie Councillors.
The rumoured "Project 4-2-0," apparently started shortly after incumbent Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard were elected to council in 2010 in Wards 3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively.
The ultimate insult in a long line of insults to the democratic process was a conflict of interest lawsuit against the four filed by former Ward 4 Councillor Tim Whitfield who was roundly beaten by John Hill in 2010.
Whitfield had been persuaded to file the suit by mayor-by-five-votes Doug Martin who has lost much of his power since the new council was elected. Whitfield met with Martin at Dave Hurren's law office in early April 2013. Hurren also does legal work for the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corporation whose general manager, Jim Thibert has had a difficult relationship with the four because they have dared to expect him to be accountable to the taxpayers for the over half a million dollars that the EDTC receives from the town each year.
The case has stumbled its way through the court system, according to a plan by a very small, select group of local business people, including Marina Butler, a candidate now running against John Hill, who are funding the conflict of interest lawsuit following the termination of the town solicitor. The solicitor, in an attempt to receive a larger settlement threatened further lawsuits for unproven harassment by the councillors. It appears that she violated the terms of the agreement by revealing details of her settlement to a Martin-friendly local reporter who is now laughably running for mayor.
So, now it appears that Dave Hurren has defied court protocol in releasing certain court documents to Greg Bonito who runs a local blog that was created to destroy the reputations of the four councillors. Hurren has reportedly also attempted to enter sealed court documents into Don Lubberts' cross examination testimony.
If it is proven that Hurren, as an officer of the court and fully aware of protocol and procedure, went outside his duties and released information inappropriately, there could be serious consequences for him.
It's just another example of the lengths that some people will go to to thwart the democratic process and the voters' decisions. The effort has been funded and encouraged by a very small minority, some of whom are now seeking office while others are chafing at the change in the power structure on council.
Make the connection, it's all right in front of you. Do you want your town run by the kind of people who subvert the democratic process for their own ends? Remember that, were it not for a "mix-up" at a polling station in Fort Erie, there may have been a different person wearing the mayor's chain of office. Instead, a mayor-by-five-votes persuades a losing candidate to file a lawsuit funded by a few "friends of Doug;" handled by the lawyer for the EDTC, who gives unreleased court documents to Greg Bonito, the court jester/troll/blogger.
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