What’s eating my old paesano Joe Fontana?
The egregious London Mayor’s May 29 trial date for fraud, breach of trust and forgery swiftly approaches. The charges, readers will recall, stem from preposterous allegations that back in ’05 in his days as a Liberal cabmin, he stuck Public Works with a $1,700 bill for his son Michael’s wedding reception.
Joe is certain he’ll be vindicated
But until recently, the shameless old hack exuded the breezy confidence of an innocent man – or at least one with a long track record of never getting caught (Franks passim).
Despite the RCMP’s confidence in handwriting analysis indicating he not only took the dough but also altered documents to cover his scam up, an unruffled Fontana opted out of a jury trail, speeding his way to certain vindication this spring — so as not to interfere with his re-election campaign next fall.
Hizzoner spent the morning of Nov. 29 in front of the judge with his ace defence legalist Gord “Don’t Answer That” Cudmore for a pre-trial hearing. Once out of the dock for the day, Joe plastered on his shit-eater and short-arsed it down to Victoria Park to preside over the switch-flipping of the Christmas lights, and even sitting in with the band on drums (shurely ‘Jailhouse Rock’?!—ed.)
These days, though, Joe’s looking a little gray around the gills. His trusty majority on council, the Fontana Eight, have begun to desert him, and the dwindling rump of loyalists is no longer sufficient to impose mayoral fiat.
Goodyear ignored a fuming Fontana
Nor have the feds hesitated to humiliate their wounded Liberal foe. When Creation Science Minister Gary Goodyear blew through town in December to announce a $200 million manufacturing tech fund, he had Joe seated in the front row of dignitaries, and then ignored him completely, not even acknowledging his presence and cutting him out of the photo-op with local Tory MPs as Joe fumed in silence.
Worse, while Fontana waits until after his trial to file his nomination papers, his rivals, notably Liberal-connected councillor Matt Brown, are on the march.
Because Joe’s candidacy isn’t official, he can’t raise any cash, and Brown has wasted no time tucking into His Worship’s lunch, reportedly already extracting some $150,000 from London’s limited campaign donor pool, leaving Forza Fontana sucking the pipe.
Meanwhile, Fontana’s long-suffering constituents take sad comfort that at least London isn’t Toronto, and it’s true; Rob Ford thus far faces no criminal charges.