Former Town of Pelham CAO Darren Ottaway had a court date in Cochrane, ON on November 22 before Justice Michel Labelle, to answer to four charges related to incidents alleged to have occurred prior to 2019, when Ottaway was still working in Pelham. As in past court proceedings, Ottaway did not appear in person, but was represented by his defense counsel Paul Bragagnolo.
Ottaway’s case was adjourned to December 6, at which time a trial date is expected to be set.
In July, Bragagnolo told Justice Labelle and the Cochrane court that his client had suffered a medical emergency, and was in the intensive care unit at an unspecified southern Ontario hospital. Bragagnolo said that Ottaway had suffered seizures, and may have a brain tumour.
Ottaway’s medical prognosis is still unknown, but Bragagnolo told the court on August 16 that he had been released from hospital “with life-threatening medical concerns.”
Ottaway had been facing two assault charges, a sexual interference charge, and a sexual assault charge. However, Crown Prosecutor Justin Reneaud withdrew one of the charges against Ottaway in October, telling the court that the single count of common assault against Ottaway’s wife, Paula, “has no reasonable prospect of conviction.”
Bragagnolo previously told the court that his wish was to return to Niagara for the sexual assault and sexual interference charges against Ottaway to be addressed. Bragagnolo had informed the court last month of his intent to have the charges brought back to the jurisdiction where they allegedly occurred, namely Pelham.
Since his dismissal from Pelham, Ottaway has been employed as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Cochrane, a community of 5000 located south of Moosonee in northeastern Ontario. He was granted bail at his initial court appearance on January 24, and has been on a leave of absence without pay during the court case.
The Cochrane Times-Post reported in August that Cochrane’s Town Council had promoted Monika Malherbe to CAO.