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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Marotta’s lawyers release statement about $10K ‘campaign donation’
Benny Marotta with his Lawyer Sara Premi at the special council meeting on his application to alter or demolish struxtures on the Rand Estate. Evan Loree

Police have closed an investigation into a $10,000 cash exchange between developer Benny Marotta and Coun. Gary Burroughs and have found no grounds to lay charges.

With the investigation closed, the matter is still in the hands of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s integrity commissioner Edward McDermott.

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s chief administrator Marnie Cluckie said she “reached out to the town’s integrity commissioner last week”  to advise that the police investigation is complete and that they informed the town that there were “no criminal wrongdoings.”

“At this time, an investigation by the integrity commissioner has not commenced,” she said.

She said she didn’t have any additional information to share at this time.

The issue stemmed from a March 4 meeting at Marotta’s Two Sisters winery, during which he handed Burroughs an envelope containing $10,000.

Burroughs said he wasn’t aware what was in the package until he arrived home later that day.

Eventually he took the money to the town after trying first to return it to Marotta.

An email to The Lake Report from Marotta’s lawyer Sara Premi’s office at Sullivan Mahoney said, “On March 4, Marotta made the contribution to Councillor Gary Burroughs, instructing him to use the  amount allowed for municipal campaigns to clear up any outstanding election debts, then donate  whatever was left over to his church.”

It said Marotta hopes Burroughs’ name is cleared by the integrity commissioner, adding that “Me and my family are committed to helping Niagara-on-the-Lake become a vibrant, growing community that not only preserves its character and heritage but enhances it for future generations. 

“This is a jewel in Ontario and we only want it to shine even brighter. Sadly, some people don’t like others who have a vision.”

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