Editor’s Note: Police have closed their investigation into this matter and no charges were laid. Niagara Now’s April 19, 2023 reporting in this respect can be found here: niagaranow.com/news.phtml/no-charges-laid-after-developer-gave-notl-councillor-10000-in-cash
Niagara Regional Police are investigating after prominent developer Benny Marotta gave Coun. Gary Burroughs an envelope containing $10,000 in cash on March 4.
Initially, Town of NOTL chief administrator Marnie Cluckie contacted the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate, but they referred her to the regional force.
“The Niagara Regional Police Service was contacted on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 regarding a contribution investigation,” police spokesperson Stephanie Sabourin said in an email response to questions from The Lake Report.
“As investigation remains on-going, with no criminal charges laid at this time, we are unable to share further information.”
Police did not answer questions asking them to clarify what a “contribution investigation” entails or what potential crime is being investigated.
The Town of NOTL voted in a private meeting on March 20 to ask police to look into the matter, after a concerned Burroughs brought the money to the town’s chief administrator on March 13.
Council asked that the information be taken to the OPP.
However, Cluckie said the OPP told her to take the matter to Niagara police.
“While it was originally brought to the attention of the OPP, the OPP redirected the town to the Niagara Regional Police Service,” Cluckie said in an email.
“A reason for redirecting was not given,” she said.
Neither the town nor police have named Marotta or Burroughs or provided details of the incident.
The town put out a news release last Wednesday, shortly after The Lake Report published a story online about the exchange.
The release said the town took immediate action to contact police and the town’s integrity commissioner after being directed to do so during the private meeting.