Graham Hobbs

Settlement reached between town and estate of Graham Hobbs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The lawsuit that was filed by a retired grandfather that continued after his death has now concluded.

A settlement has been reached between the family of Graham Hobbs and the Town of Amherstburg. Hobbs had been banned from town hall and other municipal property following an alleged incident at the Amherstburg Municipal Building Nov. 20, 2015. He subsequently filed the $100,000 lawsuit against the municipality.

Hobbs died Jan. 2, 2017 but the lawsuit had continued until recently when the town received $25,000, which resolved the matter.

“Being a legal matter, I do have to be careful of what I say and how I say it,” acknowledged Mayor Aldo DiCarlo after Monday night’s council meeting. “Obviously we felt the town’s position was appropriate.”

According to the mayor, efforts were made to try and resolve the matter.

“Unfortunately, we could not do that outside the legal forum,” he said.

DiCarlo said the $25,000 will be put towards costs to defend its position.

While the matter is over, DiCarlo said the town takes no pleasure in the outcome.

“We don’t feel great about it but we did have a fiduciary duty to get taxpayers’ money back and we did that,” he said. “It was an unfortunate incident and it’s just not the kind of thing that you want to deal with when you’ve got all these other issues you have to deal with.”

In a report from treasurer Justin Rousseau that came before council on 2017 year-end financial ratios and indicators, it contained a portion which read: “Subsequent to 2017 year-end the claim Hobbs CV-16-23500 was settled with cost being awarded back to the Town of Amherstburg. In early 2018, $25,000 was received by the Town to cover the Town’s legal expenses for this matter. This is no longer a pending claim at the time of this report.”

 

Hobbs lawsuit continuing against town

 

 

The lawsuit filed by Graham Hobbs against the town of Amherstburg is continuing despite the fact Hobbs has since passed away.

Hobbs was banned for one year from town hall and all other town property following an alleged incident at the Amherstburg Municipal Building Nov. 20, 2015. He subsequently filed the $100,000 lawsuit against the municipality.

Hobbs’ lawyer Anthony Leardi pressed the town for more information on why the banishment occurred, telling the RTT in Nov. 2015 that Hobbs “has never before had a problem with anyone at town hall nor has anyone had a problem with him. 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.”

Town hall sign

In that same article, CAO John Miceli said he acted on a complaint he received from a staff member. 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.

The River Town Times e-mailed both Leardi and Miceli last week to try and get an update with Miceli replying that a new date of July 17 has been set to continue the trial.

Hobbs died Jan. 2 at the age of 76.

Banned resident suing town for $100,000

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Graham Hobbs, the resident who was banned from all town facilities last November, has filed a lawsuit against the municipality.

Hobbs is seeking $100,000 in damages with AM800 news reporting that the Statement of Claim says the town’s actions were “oppressive, arbitrary and unconstitutional.”

Hobbs was banned from all town-owned facilities stemming from an alleged incident Nov. 20. His lawyer, Anthony Leardi, has pressed the town for more information such as the exact nature of the allegation.

When reached for comment Tuesday morning, Leardi provided the file number for the statement of claim but opted not to make any further statements.

“I’d prefer not to,” said Leardi, adding they don’t want to be accused to litigating through the media.

CAO John Miceli told the RTT Tuesday morning that the town received word of the lawsuit last Friday. Town council was given an update on the matter at an in-camera meeting Monday night.

There has been nothing proven in court as it relates to the case.

“We’re going to defend ourselves,” he said.

Resident barred from town facilities for one year

 

Town hall sign

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.