Coun. Tim Tierney has been accused of corrupt practices under the city election law for allegedly trying to persuade opposing candidates to quit the recent city elections in Ottawa.
The Ontario Provincial Police have accused board member Beacon Hill-Cyrville under section 90 (3) of the Municipal Election Law, which states that it is a violation to offer or promise "valuable consideration" to persuade a candidate to revoke his candidacy in the election.
If found guilty, Tierney will be forced to vacate his position on the council and is barred from participating in the next two elections.
Tierney issued a brief statement on his Twitter page Friday afternoon.
"I have every confidence in the process before us and will defend ourselves with enthusiasm. In the meantime I will continue my hard work on behalf of the people of Beacon Hill-Cyrville," he wrote, adding that he would not have any further comments respecting the process provincial level court.
In the same statement, the councillor defense team at May Irwin Adam Defense Attorneys wrote that the accusation was, "although not criminal, … but was taken very seriously" by Tierney.
"Tierney is committed to participating in the process and hopes to clear his name," read the message.
On July 27, the last day for candidates to register for the city elections this fall, it seems that Tierney will be recognized.
But a few minutes before the nomination closed at 2pm, Michael Schurter arrived at Ottawa's Elections office to register as a candidate.
Allegedly offered a donation
What happened next has been the subject of OPP's anti-rugby investigation over the past two months.
At the election office when the accusation was Schurter, his campaign manager, Justin McAuley, and a city election official.
According to sources, Schurter received a call from Jeremy Wittet, who used to work to get Innes Coun out. Jody Mitic, and who is well known to Tierney and Schurter.
Sources say as soon as Wittet has Schurter on the phone, the Wittet patches Tierney into the call, some of which can be heard on the speaker's phone. Wittet remained on the telephone, said the sources, but it was not clear if anyone else was listening.
According to sources, members of the two countries' councils allegedly offered to make a donation to a local food bank if Schurter did not register to fight him.
Stay on board
CBC confirmed at the end of August that Tierney, to avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, resigned from his position at the Ottawa Police Service Agency.
Ottawa police referred the case to OPP, which works with the crown lawyer's office in Brockville, Ontario.
No one officially prevented Tierney from staying on the board either after being sued, or during possible court procedures – unless the process was expected to force him to miss three consecutive board meetings.
If that happens, he must ask for official leave from the board, even though the leave can be paid.
When former mayor Larry O & # 39; Brien was charged with bribing candidates for leaving the 2006 election, he volunteered to take no paid leave during the trial. O & # 39; Brien was later found innocent.
The city is considered a separate investigation
Within hours of the alleged call, city officer Rick O & # 39; Connor, who was ultimately responsible for the city election administration, began investigating whether the city should take legal action.
In a statement e-mailed to CBC, O & # 39; Connor confirmed that he was advised by the election staff in the room with Schurter about "the experience relating to a candidate registering to run for the City Council Office in Ward 11, Beacon-Hill Cyrville. "
That same afternoon, O & # 39; Connor – also a city attorney – consulted an out-of-town lawyer for an opinion about what action the officer should take, given the "limited information" he had at the time.
"Based on the legal opinion, a review was conducted to interview city staff and other people to distinguish what the facts are and, finally, whether this issue would be considered further," O & Connot said in a statement.
Interviews with other town hall staff and officials will be held by outside lawyers in mid-August.
But before the interview could be done, O & # 39; Connor was told that an investigation had been carried out by Ottawa and OPP police. Police forces suggested the city "retreat," which O & # 39; Connor said he "did it immediately."
A number of city officials have been interviewed in this case and their cellphones have been sought by the OPP.