Nearly four months after it began, Mayor Larry O’Brien’s influence peddling trial will come to an end this morning.
O’Brien is facing two criminal charges stemming from allegations that during a July 12, 2006, meeting, O’Brien offered to help get Terry Kilrea a position on the National Parole Board in exchange for Kilrea withdrawing from the mayoral campaign.
O’Brien was officially charged by the Ontario Provincial Police on Dec. 10, 2007. He has maintained his innocence all along and pleaded not guilty when his trial started on May 4.
During the trial, O’Brien’s defence lawyer Michael Edelson argued that Kilrea misunderstood and exaggerated a simple inquiry from O’Brien regarding Kilrea’s career ambitions.
Edelson attempted to portray Kilrea as a “vindictive,” “mean-spirited” and “disingenuous” failed politician who masterminded the release of this job offer story to get back at O’Brien or, at the very least, keep his name in the news.
However, Crown attorney Scott Hutchison argued there is sufficient objective evidence, in the form of email exchanges and phone records, to corroborate Kilrea’s version of the story.
The venue for the verdict has been moved from the cosy confines of courtroom 36 to the larger room 37.