Essex Mayor to Plead Not Guilty to Election Charge, says Lawyer


Essex Mayor Larry Snively plans on fighting charges stemming from the 2018 Municipal Election, according to his lawyer Patrick Ducharme.

The OPP began an investigation in October of 2018 after several complaints were received alleging proxy ballots — used to give permission to vote on behalf of another person — were being signed without proper consent during the election.

On Wednesday police announced the investigation resulted in Snively being charged with procuring persons to vote in a municipal election when those persons were not entitled to do so. 

Ducharme says he talked to Snively before he was charged.

"I haven't seen him in a few days but he had some awareness that this might be coming," he says.  "I talked to him before he was actually charged.  I'm out of town right now but he's doing fine and he fully expects that he'll be going to court and pleading not guilty.

When asked if he will advise his client about the mayor's position, Ducharme said he will leave it up to Snively.

"I think I'll just leave that to him and let him make the decision that he thinks is appropriate in these circumstances," he added.

Ron Rogers was narrowly defeated by Snively in the election, and is calling for Snively to step down in the wake of the allegations.

A statement from the town says administration is co-operating with the investigation.

Snively will appear in court on March 30.