Joe Fontana charged

Former Liberal MP Joe Fontana, currently the mayor of London, has been charged by the RCMP in connection with a cheque used to pay for his son’s wedding reception.

The charges of fraud, breach of trust by a public official and uttering forged documents were filed against him Wednesday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police following an investigation of more than two months. They relate to a $1,700 cheque issued by Public Works Canada that was used to pay the Marconi Club — a London social club. A copy of the stub from that cheque was obtained by The Free Press and published five weeks ago. The invoice number on the cheque stub, dated April 6, 2005, matched that of the Marconi Club invoice issued about six months earlier. A former Marconi Club manager told The Free Press Fontana later produced a similar cheque for the $18,900 balance owing. He said he remembered the payment clearly because he had to chase Fontana six months to get it.

At the time, Fontana was a Liberal member of Parliament for London North Centre and federal minister of labour and housing. He was elected mayor in late 2010 and is midway through his four-year term.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.