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Court orders new trial for RM of Sherwood councillor previously acquitted of corruption

Global News logo Global News 2020-01-08 Mickey Djuric
a man in glasses looking at the camera: RM of Sherwood councillor Tim Probe allegedly tried to trade votes in an effort to block a council decision that would have seen him repay nearly $50,000 in legal fees © File / Global News RM of Sherwood councillor Tim Probe allegedly tried to trade votes in an effort to block a council decision that would have seen him repay nearly $50,000 in legal fees

A former RM of Sherwood councillor will return to court to re-face a charge he was aquitted of.

Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal says a new trial is required for Tim Probe, who was found not guilty in 2018 of municipal corruption and breach of trust.

The charges stem from an incident in 2016 after the former councillor was accused of approaching Reeve Jeff Poissant and trying to convince him to take part in a vote-trading deal.

READ MORE: RM of Sherwood councilor Tim Probe found not guilty in corruption trial

The Crown alleged Probe offered to vote for a truck stop development for Poissant if Poissant didn’t seek a $50,000 reimbursement from Probe that was incurred by himself in a previous legal case.

The trial judge said he was “not satisfied that there was an offer to trade votes in the manner that was purportedly perceived by Mr. Poissant and eventually asserted by the Crown.” As a result, Probe was acquitted.

However, in a written decision, Justice Robert Leurer said the trial judge erred in failing to account for the Municipalities Act which states no member of a municipal council shall attempt to influence the discussion or voting in which a council has a conflict of interest.

READ MORE: RM of Sherwood councilor Tim Probe takes the stand in corruption trial

The “trial judge erred in law by failing to consider the possibility that Mr. Probe may have had other, additional, non-public good purposes in mind when he acted in the ways he did during his meeting with the RM’s reeve,” wrote Leurer.

The Crown had asked for a new trial after appealing under the breach of trust charge in July of 2018. A panel of three judges had heard from both the defence and Crown.

Justice Ralph Ottenbreit and Justice Neal Caldwell also agreed it was appropriate to have a new trial.

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