Payne Denies Rumour He Owes Windsor Huge Debt

The race for Windsor's Ward 9 has turned to mud-slinging.

Incumbent Hilary Payne issued a news release Thursday saying he's been made aware of a malicious rumour.

Payne was handed a judgement from the Court of Appeal over the summer where he was ordered to pay Windsor fire, Windsor police and the Ontario Fire Marshall — the total was about $500,000.

He says what's being circulated is wrong and that he does not owe the city any money from that judgement.

"Absolutely not, and the rumour that's been circulated is that I owe the city half a million dollars by the way and that's totally incorrect. because it was never that much anyway.  And what it was has been paid off completely."

Payne says he's been steadily chipping away at the debt since receiving the ruling.

"Ever since the Court of Appeal in Toronto in June turned down our appeal, I've been working on it and made the last payment fairly recently actually. It was never as I say $500,000, it was about half that and it's been steadily paid off and it's all gone now."

While Payne isn't willing to say who he believes to be behind the rumour, he does want to say who he is sure it isn't.

"I think in fairness to Kieran Mackenzie, some people might kind of focus on him and he's a fair individual. He doesn't do that kind of thing, so I thought I should make that clear that it's not Kieran Mackenzie"

Payne says the judgement from the Court of Appeal was for him to pay $295,000 in legal and other costs to fire and police.

He says a payment arangement has been made with the province to repay the amount owed the Ontario Fire Marshall's Office and about half of that is paid.

There are three candidates in Ward 9, Payne, Kieran Mackenzie and Alex Aggarwal.