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Shuffle at city hall ahead of O'Brien's trial - Metro US

Shuffle at city hall ahead of O’Brien’s trial

Mayor Larry O’Brien and his staff will be on an unpaid leave of absence beginning on May 2.

The absence will begin two days before his trial on charges of negotiating an appointment, influencing or negotiating appointments or dealing in offices and pretending to have influence over the government of Canada or a minister of the government begins.

The charges stem from allegations that he attempted to bribe mayoral rival Terry Kilrea to drop out of the race.

O’Brien was charged by the Ontario Provincial Police in Dec. 2007 after a nine-month investigation.

For most of the trial, Beacon Hill–Cyrville Councillor Michel Bellemare will take over the mayor’s duties, based on the rotation of the deputy mayor’s position, which changes every two months.

If the trial extends beyond July 7, or if O’Brien is found guilty, Osgoode Councillor Doug Thompson will take the reigns until Sept. 8.

Knoxdale-Merivale Councillor Gord Hunter will act as deputy mayor for most of the summer, since he is not planning on travelling outside the city.

The city clerk will handle routine bills like phone, cable, and newspaper subscriptions and previously authorized expenses, like city tables at United Way events, from the mayor’s office budget.

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