Fontana Faces Calls For Resignation

A city councillor who is running for mayor this fall says Joe Fontana needs to step down.

Ward 7 councillor Matt Brown issued the call Friday morning, after Fontana was convicted of fraud, uttering forged documents, and breach of trust.

“Joe Fontana has put his personal interests above the well being of this community for far too long. I’m sick of it. Londoners are sick of it,” Brown said in a statement on his website. “It’s time for London to move forward. To do that, we need a Mayor we can trust. Join me in calling for Mayor Joe to finally do the right thing for London and resign his position effective immediately.”

Ward 5 councillor Joni Baechler is also calling on Fontana to step down.

“I think he needs to step aside. I think it’s in the best interests of the city of London,” says Baechler. “For far too long we have been leaping from one negative controversy to another. If you go back to the charity issues, to the Harmony Buffet, to Billy T’s and this latest episode, it doesn’t give confidence to Londoners, it doesn’t give confidence to investors wanting to bring a business to the city.”

The call for Fontana’s resignation was echoed outside the courthouse by former member of London’s Board of Control Gina Barber.

“Do the honourable thing,” she advised the mayor. “It should’ve happened a long time ago. Or he should have stepped aside when he had that opportunity.”

Ward 1 councillor Bud Polhill expects Fontana will step down.

“I think he’s in a position where he knows this is something he has to do and I think he has enough sense to make the right decision.”

Fontana would not say Friday morning whether he will step down. He would only tell reporters that he will “make a statement in the near future with regards to what I intend to do. I obviously need to digest what has taken place, talk to my legal team and look at what I’m going to do.”