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Town of Ponoka facing lawsuit from pair of local residents

Ponoka town council members and administration have been served with a lawsuit from two residents.

The case was not able to proceed, however, in Court of Queen’s Bench in Wetaskiwin on Feb. 11.

Chief administration officer Albert Flootman told council the matter has now been put over to special chambers, scheduled for Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.

The lawsuit is regarding alleged unauthorized expenditures under the town’s borrowing bylaw for the capital lease of the Ponoka Civic Centre, and questions about the building, Nick Kohlman told Black Press Media on Friday.

A similar suit was brought before the courts in 2018 by Greg Nelson, who was advised by Kohlman.

On Jan. 21, Kohlman served all council members attending a meeting with the lawsuit, which includes the name of Ponoka resident Warren Hart.

Those served included Coun. Ted Dillon, Mayor Rick Bonnett, Flootman and former councillor Tim Falkiner.

When the town contingent arrived at court Feb. 11, Kohlman was present, but Hart was not. Kohlman tried to represent Hart, but was told by the court he could not, as he is not a lawyer.

When asked, Kohlman stated Hart was out of the country, and later elaborated that Hart was currently in the United States.

Hart has been a frequent speaker during the public forum portion of town council meetings.

“I was in court … and it was wasted time for municipal officials and municipal staff,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.

“Lawyers seem to be getting a little bit carried away, and I would encourage people to have serious claims if they want to come and tackle it on,” said Bonnett.

“There’s a significant amount of content in there and our lawyer does want to go through some stuff before it gets there, so he did ask for a later date.”

CourtTown of Ponoka

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