For the first time in over a year, former Town of Pelham CAO Darren Ottaway will appear in person in Cochrane court 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.
In past court proceedings, Ottaway has been represented by his defense counsel, Paul Bragagnolo.
Chantal Chenier, Supervisor of Court Operations in Cochrane, confirmed that Ottaway’s case was on the docket for a confirmation hearing on February 28, at which time a two-hour preliminary hearing was set for April 11 at 10 AM.
In July of 2022, Bragagnolo told Justice Labelle 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 last August that Ottaway 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 last 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.
Since his dismissal from Pelham, Ottaway had 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 of 2022, and has been on a medical leave of absence without pay during the court case.