The legal counsel defending Mayor Randy Hope in the Capitol Theatre Annex project conflict of interest action says he’s seeking to have it heard as soon as possible.
Terry Shillington of Shillingtons LLP in London said despite the large number of allegations brought forth by former mayoral candidate Ian McLarty, the matter is really a simple one.
“The real issue at hand is how it relates to the mayor’s daughter,” he said. “She performs a mid-level administrative function at Apollo Construction and we’re confident that when all the facts are brought before the courts, it will be clear there is no conflict.”
Shillington said his firm would be filing some information prior to the Aug. 20 deadline. “We will be filing a response but I don’t expect the matter to be heard on that date. Very likely a date will be set on the 20th.”
In the action filed July 23, McLarty alleges the mayor was in violation of conflict of interest regulations when he voted in favour of a $1.3 million grant to St. Clair College.
The college intends to use the funds to establish programs at the former Capitol Theatre Annex building, now owned by Apollo Construction of Blenheim.
Documents in the application indicate the mayor’s daughter, Melissa, is the operations manager of Apollo and as such will benefit from the grant.
Statements made by McLarty concerning the transaction have resulted in Apollo owner Fred Naclerio filing a $1.5 million defamation suit against McLarty.
McLarty’s notice lists 25 separate supporting documents, most of which Shillington said aren’t relevant.
“There is information about a wide variety of municipal political issues which just don’t pertain to this action,” he said.