New trial starts for former Deputy Reeve charged with breach of trust
REGINA -- A re-trial in the case of a former councillor and deputy reeve of the R.M. of Sherwood began on Tuesday.
The trial involves Tim Probe, who was charged with breach of trust and originally acquitted in June 2018.
The charges stem from a private conversation between Probe and Jeffrey Poissant, the former Reeve of the R.M. of Sherwood.
During the conversation on February 1, 2016, it’s alleged Probe offered an illegal vote trade with Poissant, with each to support one another on R.M. issues.
The Court of Appeal found the judge of the original trial had committed legal error in reaching the conclusion that the crown failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Probe committed an offence.
During day one of the re-trial, the crown brought forward two witnesses. Poissant was one of those witnesses.
Poissant testified that Probe sent him an email on January 31, 2016, asking Poissant to meet for coffee. The two exchanged several emails, which were read to the court, before agreeing to meet the evening of February 1, 2016.
Poissant told the court he was a relatively new reeve at that point in time, so he often brought a recording device to his meetings, to make sure he didn’t miss any details. When Poissant and Probe met for coffee, Poissant said he turned on the recording device before walking into the coffee shop.
The recording of their meeting was played for the court on Tuesday. It was muffled and hard to understand at some points.
Poissant testified that after the February 1, 2016 meeting, he contacted the R.M’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ron McCullough, for advice on what to do next. Poissant went to police with the recording after that.
The other witness to testify on Tuesday was Sgt. Darren McPherson, who was on the Regina Police Service’s major crimes unit at the time the breach of trust charge was allegedly committed.
McPherson testified he was tasked with the file on February 2, 2016. He said he was advised Poissant had met with Probe at a coffee shop on February 1, 2016, and that Poissant had recorded the conversation.
McPherson told the court he contacted Poissant, who came to the police station with the recording device. McPherson said he made copies of the recording, and returned the recording device to Poissant on March 4, 2016.
McPherson said he transcribed the contents of the recording, which took several days because of the tape’s length and quality.
Upon cross examination, defence attorney Aaron Fox asked McPherson if he had ever compared the copied recording with the recording on the original device. McPherson replied that he had not.
Poissant said he had the recording device until May 2016, when it was destroyed in a fire involving his truck.
The trial is being heard by a judge sitting without a jury. The trial is expected to last several more days.