Amherstburg CAO John Miceli, February 9, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Amherstburg CAO sues mayoral candidate saying his reputation is at stake

In a rare move just before a civic election, Amherstburg’s chief administrative officer (CAO) is suing a mayoral candidate.

John Miceli has filed a defamation lawsuit against Glenn Swinton claiming that Swinton posted comments on Facebook that hurt his reputation, including that he directs council and is involved with fraud. Swinton is on record for opposing the town’s policing changeover to Windsor police and promises to review hires by Miceli if he gets elected.

Miceli said Swinton’s comments are unfounded and added he was given a chance to apologize and retract his remarks but refused.

“I am neutral. My job is to advise all of council, including the mayor. That is my role,” said Miceli.

Swinton posted on Facebook June 28 that “Amherstburg’s CAO John Miceli [is] named in legal battle over fraud in the City of Windsor for having finance departments make payments ‘fly under the radar’ and have them be vague and undetectable.” Swinton also posted on August 10, “So, if a member of the town’s administration serves you with frivolous legal docs just before an election in a blatantly obvious attempt to save his job, is that suspicious? Asking for a friend.”

Swinton has not responded to requests from to comment on the allegations. It’s unclear if a statement of defence has been filed. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Miceli said he had to file the lawsuit now because of time limits under the law and adds there’s no going back.

“I find it very unfortunate that Mr. Swinton believes that the best thing to do is to attack me and the reputation that I have worked very hard for over the last 27 years,” he said.

Miceli said his integrity as a public servant is at stake and had no choice but to sue Swinton.

“He’s tried to create a toxic environment for me and this community and he’s tried to do that at my expense for his political gain,” Miceli said.