Essex’s Bondy Files $ 200K Lawsuit Against Former Councilman, Calls For Emergency Mayor Debate

Article content

On the same day, Essex Mayor Larry Snively pleaded guilty to violating the Municipal Elections Act in the 2018 civic vote, and was fined $ 10,000, a council colleague filed a defamation lawsuit in connection with the case in Seeks $ 200,000 in damages from another former councilman.

Commercial

Article content

“It’s been a living nightmare,” Ward 4 (Harrow) Coun. Sherry Bondy told the Star, describing her political life in the more than three years since the Ontario Provincial Police launched an investigation into alleged electoral irregularities by the mayor. The lawsuit claims that she has “experienced harassment at the hands of Mayor Snively and his supporters.” Bondy has publicly said that she has been intimidated and “ostracized” at the city council table.

As a justice of the peace admonished Snively on Friday for depriving Town of Essex voters of their voting privilege, a libel suit directed at Bondy by Paul Innes was being filed in the High Court of Justice.

“It was difficult for her to do this, but important,” said Mousseau DeLuca McPherson Prince LLP attorney Richard Pollock of the civil lawsuit filed on Bondy’s behalf. “She was misled, throughout the election and up until (Snively’s) guilty plea.”

Commercial

Article content

While mentioned in the lawsuit, Snively is not named as a defendant.

Innes, a former Essex councilor and pre-merger mayor of Colchester South Township, alleges in Bondy’s assertion statement that he posted “reckless” and defamatory comments last November on Facebook, “widely commented on on social media and from mouth to mouth”. He allegedly described Bondy as an unfit mother, a dishonest and indecent woman “devoid of moral character”, someone who had inappropriate sexual relations and who lied in material under oath in court, as well as having committed “public mischief contrary to the Penal Code. ”. ”By improperly interfering with and obstructing an OPP investigation. Innes’ posts named people from the community, according to the lawsuit.

Commercial

Article content

That same night, Bondy emailed Innes to “immediately stop and desist from making incorrect defamatory comments about me” and that he was seeking legal advice. In an email to Bondy the next day that was copied to the city mayor, the deputy mayor and several others, Innes replied: “I am sorry and I apologize” and that her previous statements “were based on hearsay and not they intended to slander. ” “, According to the statement of claim.

The lawsuit alleges that Innes asked the recipients of her previous email not to further circulate her comments to the community. But then he allegedly added: “I will allow others to do that,” a comment that is underlined in the 16-page defamation lawsuit filed with the court.

Not only did Innes not publicly apologize, Pollock said, but her “twisted” apology to Bondy simply meant, “I’m sorry, but I’ll let others repeat what I said.”

Commercial

Article content

The allegations contained in the lawsuit have not been proven or verified in court.

Contacted by the Star, both Innes and the Toronto-area attorney he has hired said Tuesday they “had no comment at this time.”

Snively has already announced that he will not seek reelection in the fall. Bondy has publicly stated that he is running for mayor. Innes challenged Bondy in 2018 for the Harrow seat that he first won in 2010, garnering less than a third of the incumbent’s votes.

In a city news release after the mayor’s sentencing on Friday, Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche stated: “This is concerning and unfortunate and the council as a whole condemns the actions that lead to this crime.” The statement went on to say that Snively, “at this time … intends to serve the remainder of this term.”

Commercial

Article content

But Bondy notified the deputy mayor and city clerk over the weekend that he wants to debate an “emergency motion” at the next regular council meeting on January 17 and calls on Snively to step down immediately.

“He has lost the trust of the council,” Bondy said. “How is it possible for the city to move forward with him presiding over the council chambers?”

The city issued its press release following a closed-door emergency meeting in which the issue was only described as “legal advice: identifiable person.”

Essex City Councilor Sherry Bondy, shown on July 15, 2021, filed a defamation lawsuit against former Councilor Paul Innes.
Essex City Councilor Sherry Bondy, shown on July 15, 2021, filed a defamation lawsuit against former Councilor Paul Innes. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Pollock said the defamation lawsuit probably “won’t help her politically,” but that the alternative was for Bondy to potentially remain exposed to similar slander.

“If people are not held accountable for lies and slander, things will continue like this,” he said. The lawsuit, which seeks $ 150,000 in general damages and $ 50,000 in punitive and aggravated damages, claims that the infringing publications remain in circulation.

Commercial

Article content

“The words transmitted and published by the defendant appeared cruelly calculated by a respected resident to disparage Sherry Lyn Bondy in the eyes of her neighbors, her family, and the general public,” the lawsuit states.

Innes is a pastor and former assistant rector at the Detroit Sailors Church, as well as a former manager of K-Scrap Resources in Windsor.

Just six months ago, colleagues on the council deducted Bondy from a month’s pay for what the city integrity commissioner described, in part, as his “inappropriate policy” and “long history of aggressive criticism of staff.” at ELK Energy. At the time, Bondy cited the electoral investigation carried out by the police and accused the mayor of attacking her “since I denounced the elections,” including filing the complaint against her with the integrity commissioner.

Commercial

Article content

Until Snively’s guilty plea on Friday, Bondy said she was the one being singled out as “the bad guy” due to a police investigation triggered by a voter’s complaint that she lost her vote in 2018. Bondy said that happened. to the city administration. you called the police. In his Facebook posts, according to the lawsuit, Innes argued that Snively “did not break the law” and that Bondy “pressured the OPP officer to find a way to charge him.”

In the consensual statement of fact filed Friday in the Provincial Crimes Court, Snively “admits that he induced or procured people to vote when they had no right to vote.”

“I really didn’t realize that I was doing something wrong at the time,” the mayor told the court. “I realized after the fact that I did and I sincerely apologize for that.”

Pollock said that Bondy “works like the dickens,” which makes it more difficult for his political opponents: “In politics there is an old adage: if you can’t beat them, take them down.

“Some people feel comfortable. Bondy has to be shot down. “

[email protected]

twitter.com/schmidtcity



Reference-windsorstar.com

Leave a Comment