Citing the successful completion of the Direct Accountability Program, all charges against Councillor Peter Stroud were withdrawn on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
Stroud was charged in July of this year after an incident involving a Kingston Transit bus. Kingston Police reported that, on Sunday, Jun. 23, 2019, a cyclist — who was later confirmed to be Stroud — pulled his bike in front of the city bus, yelling and hitting the bus, and then proceeded to chase the bus to its next stops. Most alarming to witnesses to the incident, it was alleged that Stroud placed the child, who had been riding in a child’s seat on the back of his bike, on the road while he parked his bike and yelled at the bus driver. Stroud addressed the situation in a series of tweets, alleging that the bus driver was refusing service to his son.
At his second date in the Ontario Court of Justice, Stroud, who was not present in court, was represented by Duty Counsel Paul Blais on behalf of his Ottawa-based lawyer. Sometime between the first and second court dates regarding the charges against Stroud, the Crown and Stroud’s legal representation agreed that all charges against Stroud would be dropped upon completion of a Direct Accountability Program.
A Direct Accountability Program usually involves counselling and/or community service. These programs are referred to as ‘diversion,’ because they divert cases from court, and they are generally available only to adults who have limited or no prior involvement with the adult criminal court system and have been charged with minor offences.
Blais spoke on behalf of Stroud’s lawyer, explaining that the “successful completion of diversion” had resulted in all charges being withdrawn. The nature of the work completed was not disclosed in court.
The City of Kingston would not confirm or deny that Stroud will maintain his seat on City Council, instead releasing the following statement from the Office of the City Clerk:
“It has been reported that all charges against Councillor Peter M. Stroud have been withdrawn. As a result, the proceedings have been completed. This is a private matter and no further comment will be made related to this proceeding.”
However, the City did confirm that no complaints have been filed with the Integrity Commissioner regarding this situation.
“While no complaint pursuant to the Code of Conduct on this matter has been received at this time, should a complaint be filed with the City Clerk it will be forwarded to the Integrity Commissioner pursuant to the Code of Conduct Complaint Protocol who will have jurisdiction over the matter,” the Office of the City Clerk said in a statement.
Kingstonist will update this article if and when any further information becomes available.