Saturday, July 23, 2016


Last Thursday's Woolwich Observer carrys the following story titled "Woolwich councillor Scott Hahn faces new legal challenge". That title sort of implies that he's already been facing legal challenges regarding his error filled campaign Financial Statements which is inaccurate. To date he's only faced the highly friendly and pro Woolwich MECAC (Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee). Their name when taken literally is exactly what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to order a Forensic Audit whenever there is the likely appearance that the Municpal Elections Act (MEA) has been contravened by a candidate. Even a single apparent contravention based upon the reasonable belief of a citizen and demonstrated to the committee is grounds for an Audit.

Now if the Audit reveals zero contraventions then the committee actually have the authority to charge the citizen complainant for the costs of the Audit which in Scott Hahn's case was $12,000 initially paid for by Woolwich Township. If the Audit however finds either a significant contravention of the MEA or multiple contraventions then MECAC are not supposed to assume the role of either the prosecuter or the judge or jury. MECAC are supposed to send the file with Audit on to the prosecuter for their determination. Using the professional and detailed Forensic Audit advising him the prosecuter determines whether it is in the public interest to proceed with prosecution.

Mr. Hahn's contraventions were both significant and they were numerous. His initial Financial Statement filed prior to the March 27, 2015 deadline is the sole one that either MECAC or the courts must focus on. His months later filing was accepted and commissioned illegally by Woolwich Township who seem hellbent themselves on breaking laws as they see fit.

Mr. Hahn claimed $328 as his total Contributions and Expenses. Only after Dr. Holt requested an Audit did he advise that he had spent $3,000 on his campaign. The Forensic Audit did look at both his Financial Statements, the original and the second improperly accepted one and determined that there were significant contraventions of the MEA in both of them. Either the Municpal Elections Act is a complete joke and a farce that should be totally scrapped or it must be enforced especially in egregious cases of ridiculous and blatant contraventions.

As in the Todd Cowan case if the court (not MECAC) decide that these contraventions were unintentional or the result of inattention and sloppy paperwork then the Judge can and presumably will give Mr. Hahn a minor slap on the wrist. Justice will have been done. On the other hand if the Judge determines there was some intent to deceive, break the law or coverup contraventions then I expect he/she will be less lenient. All that is the Judge's determination. MECAC grossly exceeded their authority in both Woolwich cases and they too should be held accountable.

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