Springwater mayor’s charges adjourned to December 7
Mayor Bill French outside the courthouse in Barrie on Friday. -AWARE Simcoe photo
From Springwater Mayor Bill French November 2 2018
Today in the provincial offences court, the matter of charges laid under the Municipal Election Act stemming from my 2014 Election Expenses filing, was adjourned to Dec 7th 2018 as the proposed pre-court settlement by the prosecutor hired by the Oro-Medonte-Springwater Compliance Audit Committee was unreasonable and unacceptable.
I will be engaging new Counsel for future proceedings, as this matter is much more than responding to some charges for minor errors and omissions in my 2014 filings. This entire exercise has been an attack on my integrity and if not challenged could set a very dangerous precedent for future candidates for municipal office who face being victimized through misuse of the legislation.
I want to thank the more than 50 friends, associates and neighbours who attended court with me today, waiting for 40 minutes for a two-minute hearing that resulted in the adjournment. Thank you for your patience. I think you understand that this is an important matter for the health of our democracy. Thanks also to others who have sent me messages of support that I very much appreciate.
In the end, I have confidence that the matter will be resolved and justice will prevail. At this point, however, I am still the Mayor of Springwater. I will wait until that responsibility is discharged – on December 1 2018 – before turning my attention to my case. I will let you know at that stage how I plan to defend myself.