Former Kawartha Lakes works director Wayne Hancock vindicated on corruption charges; proceeds with suit against the City of Kawartha Lakes



    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - Wayne Hancock, the former Director of Public
Works for the City of Kawartha Lakes, has been discharged on criminal charges
of corruption following a lengthy preliminary inquiry in which 45 witnesses
were called to testify. Justice Karen Johnston, who presided at the hearing,
concluded that there was a complete absence of evidence against Hancock on the
charges before her.
    The discharge on May 9, 2008, followed a 34 month police investigation
and a preliminary inquiry that dragged on for more than a year.
    Hancock is pressing forward with a suit alleging malicious prosecution
against the City of Kawartha Lakes, its Chief Administrative Officer Jane Lunn
as well as claims for wrongful dismissal and defamation. The action also names
CHEX Television and The Daily Post newspaper.
    "It is so wrong that my reputation and professional career as a municipal
engineer and Director of Public Works, built over 25 years of hard work, has
been destroyed by these unjustified and false charges," Hancock said in a
statement.
    "Even though I have now finally been totally exonerated, it has been a
horrific experience for me and my family. Only the support of my wife, family
and friends let me survive what I was put through. When someone sees you
charged, unfortunately many people believe this means you are guilty."
    Hancock is seeking damages totaling more than two million dollars.
    Hancock, a professional engineer, was hired by the City of Kawartha Lakes
in January 2002 while John Robison was the Chief Administrative Officer. In
May 2004, Jane Lunn, who had taken over as the City's CAO, suspended him and,
according to his statement of claim, advised him that she was recommending the
termination of his employment because "a police investigation has been
commenced regarding various contracts for work through your department."
    What was not disclosed was that it was Lunn herself who had instigated
the police investigation, the claim alleges. Hancock says that Lunn and the
City arranged for police to be present in the office area when he was fired,
intimidating him; and that advance information about his firing was provided
to CHEX Television and The Daily Post newspaper to generate media coverage
against him.
    The claim was filed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2005 but
it had to be held in abeyance until the criminal proceedings were thrown out
by Justice Johnston's May 9 decision discharging him.
    Before being hired by the City of Kawartha Lakes, Hancock had been
employed for 23 years at the Town of Whitby. During his last 11 years there,
he was the Director of Public Works.




For further information:

For further information: Robert Rueter of Rueter Scargall Bennett LLP,
(Tel: (416) 869-3363)

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