A defamation lawsuit against a mayoral candidate in Amherstburg will proceed after a motion to dismiss was rejected.

Glen Swinton says he was acting in the public's interest and claimed freedom of speech when he posted comments about the town’s CAO John Miceli on Facebook during last fall’s municipal election.

But Justice Christopher Bondy ruled “the potential damage to Mr. Miceli far outweighs the public interest in protecting this type of expression.”

Swinton claimed Miceli was involved in a fraud when he was employed by the City of Windsor. He also claimed Miceli directed Amherstburg council to contract out the town's police services to Windsor.

Miceli denied the statements and launched a $90,000 lawsuit in September after Swinton refused his request to remove the comments.

Miceli's lawyer, Richard Pollock, says the matter will now proceed following this ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

In his ruling, Bondy also noted “I conclude that the harm likely to be or which has been suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s expression is sufficiently serious that the public interest in permitting the proceeding to continue outweighs the public interest in protecting that expression.”

Swinton's lawyer has not returned requests by CTV Windsor for comment.