September 7, 2018 (Sarnia, Ontario)
On Sept 6, quietly and without media coverage, the very public charges laid against former Petrolia CAO Manny Baron were withdrawn in an empty Sarnia Courtroom. Manny Baron’s lawyer Phillip Millar, of Millars Law, said;
“My client is both relieved and thrilled to have had his name cleared of criminal wrongdoing. This was a witch hunt arising from a few political haters that Mr. Baron ran afoul of while serving Petrolia. The justice system was used to try to find something that wasn’t there… and today Mr. Baron, an outstanding public servant, can hold his head high knowing his name is cleared.”
Mr. Baron resigned from his duties in Petrolia when the charges were laid and fortunately found work at the Township of Mapleton as the Chief Administrative Officer based on his outstanding reputation and work history. He is ever grateful that the
Mayor and Council of Mapleton Township allowed the system to work so that he could clear his name so that he can now move forward without the tremendous stress of criminal charges hanging over his family.
Mr. Baron made a donation to the Petrolia Community Foundation of $1000 as a good faith gesture to show that he took responsibility for an administrative error on his part but never breached the trust of the people of Petrolia who he loved serving.
“It is not until you are charged, sitting in a room with an officer intent on getting you convicted that you see the justice system from the other side. I am thrilled the system could work for me but am terrified to think how people who can’t afford a great lawyer get justice. It is overwhelming, and you feel you have no voice and have to wait for this long process to work while everyone has pre-judged you. I will never forget what the Mayor of Mapleton Township and the council members did by believing in me and trusting that I would clear my name… I have no words that can express how stressful this has been and how happy I am with the result…” Manny said quietly holding back tears.
After widespread media coverage of the Breach of Trust charges Mr. Baron hopes the same news agencies who ran his name on their front pages will report on the withdrawal of his charges.
“We now live in a Google world, where one news story can stain you for the rest of your life, even if your name is cleared,” said his lawyer. “Every citizen must deal with this harsh fact and those who cover the news have an obligation to report on the matters accurately when they come to a positive conclusion for an accused.”
Mr. Baron plans on enjoying some quiet family time as he, his wife, and their children put this chapters of their lives behind them.