City councilor ordered to pay $541K in legal costs after unsuccessful appeal

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CTV Windsor

Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018 4:58PM EDT

Last Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:05PM EDT

Windsor city councilor Hilary Payne has been ordered to pay more than half a million dollars in legal costs.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an application by Payne.

It all started with a residential fire on Mill Street in 2006 which left a tenant at a home owned by Payne critically injured.

As the property owner, Payne was charged with arson by negligence, a charge which was dismissed during a preliminary inquiry.

Payne then launched a lawsuit against the city, Windsor Fire and Rescue Services, Windsor police and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, as well as individual members of city administration, claiming a negligent investigation and malicious prosecution.

That lawsuit was dismissed and the judge awarded costs to the defendants, which led to the appeal.

Payne, who was the Chief Administrator for City of Windsor from 1976 to 1994, now owes the city $290,000 in adverse costs and $251,000 to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office.

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