By Ron Giofu
A local resident has been banned from all town-owned facilities, including town hall, for a period of one year.
Graham Hobbs has been barred from all town facilities, effective last Tuesday, as he was served with a trespassing notice from the municipality. Hobbs’ lawyer Anthony Leardi said his client was caught off-guard by the notice, which stems from an alleged incident at town hall Nov. 20.
“He has been given no explanation of why he received it other than the very vague accusation that his behavior was somehow ‘unacceptable’,” said Leardi. “He does not know what this refers to. My client is trying to understand this. He’s been accused of something. The notice doesn’t say what he’s accused of.”
Leardi said Hobbs was not contacted him before he received the notice.
“Graham is a 75-year-old grandfather,” said Leardi. “He’s so well known at town hall they call him by his first name.”
Calling Hobbs “a frequent contributor to the political discussion in Amherstburg,” Leardi added there have been no issues between Hobbs and town staff in the past.
“He has never before had a problem with anyone at town hall nor has anyone had a problem with him,” said Leardi. “Receiving this notice, without any contact from anyone at town hall, took him completely by surprise. You’d think if people had a problem with Graham, they would talk to him and tell him there is a problem. Graham is attentive and willing to listen.”
Leardi added they don’t know who is responsible for the accusation.
“He’s being accused of something by somebody. We don’t know who and we don’t know why,” said Leardi. “How can the poor man respond?”
Leardi is hopeful the notice will be rescinded in time for Saturday’s budget meeting at the Libro Centre, which runs from 2-4 p.m.
CAO John Miceli confirmed there has been a trespassing notice issued and all municipal staff have been advised of it.
“It was a decision I made based on a situation that happened,” said Miceli. “There’s an incident that happened, a trespassing notice was issued and that’s all I’m going to comment on.”
Miceli said he received a complaint from a staff member and acted on it.
“I, as an employer, responded to the complaint,” said Miceli.
Miceli added the decision was made based on the town’s health and safety policy regarding to workplace harassment and didn’t feel it was fair to Hobbs or the complainant to divulge any further information publicly.