Town files statement of defence against Massen

By Joel Charron

If the town of Amherstburg had had prior knowledge of James Massen’s criminal history, the town would have never accepted his donation, according to legal documents filed by the town last week.

In the statement of defence obtained by the River Town Times, the town said Massen knew “the nature of the recreational complex and ought to have known that the nature of His offences were incompatible with the nature of the recreational complex, yet Massen failed to disclose these offences to the town.”

The documents state that Massen misrepresented himself by not disclosing that in 1965 he was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault. In 1990 he pleaded guilty to two count of gross indecency and one count of sexual touching involving three teenage boys. He served a year in jail and was later granted a pardon.

Town solicitor Ed Posliff filed the statement of defence and counterclaim to Massen’s lawsuit.

In the documents the town disputes Massen’s claim that he was promised naming rights when he sold his farm to the town.

The documents also say that the president of the Rotary Club advised the chairman of the Town’s recreation committee that Massen was interested in donating money to the recreation complex.

The statement of defence says that the town and Massen signed a “Pledge Document.” A “Pledge Document” does not constitute an enforceable contract as alleged by Massen.

The town is asking the court to declare that Massen has no naming rights in relation to the recreational complex and that the court dismiss Massen’s lawsuit and hold him responsible for legal bills and also allow the town to return Massen’s donation.

The town has tried to return the donation several times, however Massen has refused to accept it.

Comments are closed.